Sunday, October 26, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, October 26, 2014 with Reflections

1ST READING - Exodus 22:20-26
20 Thus says the Lord: “You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt. 21 You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. 22 If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry. 23 My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans. 24 If you lend money to one of your poor neighbors among my people, you shall not act like an extortioner toward him by demanding interest from him. 25If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, you shall return it to him before sunset; 26 for this cloak of his is the only covering he has for his body. What else has he to sleep in? If he cries out to me, I will hear him; for I am compassionate.”

P S A L M - Psalm 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
R: I love you, Lord, my strength.
1 [2] I love you, O Lord, my strength, 2 [3] O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. (R) My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold! 3 [4] Praised be the Lord, I exclaim, and I am safe from my enemies. (R) 46 [47] The Lord lives and blessed be my rock! Extolled be God my savior. 50 [51] You who gave great victories to your king and showed kindness to your anointed. (R)

2ND READING - 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10
Brothers and sisters: You know what sort of people we were among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the Holy Spirit, so that you became a model for all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. For they themselves openly declare about us what sort of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God 10and to await his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath.

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion that he may live.

Matthew 22:34-40
34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39 The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”


The Gangnam style of dancing, popularized by the Korean, Psy, more than two years ago had the enviable reputation of being the first ever YouTube hit to pierce through the billion mark just a few months after it was posted. But the more remarkable phenomenon was the sheer number of young and not-so-young people who took to the same style of dancing.

       It was a perfect example of mimesis — the very reality that Paul today, in the Second Reading, speaks about. The Greek word is related to mimicking, or imitating what is done by others.

        People tend to mimic what they see, especially if they see them done by iconic individuals, media celebrities or just about everyone, who, by office, position or role, is considered a role model for young people.

       I remember a classmate back in college who idolized a German priest. The missionary priest was a scientist, a musician, a polyglot and a storyteller, all rolled into one. My classmate not only got very enthused about science; he began at some point to mimic the priest’s style of speaking, his thick German accent, and his mannerisms and idiosyncracies. He became, literally and figuratively, a mimetes — an imitator through and through.

       All this really points to the power we all have of influencing others in their thinking and behavior patterns, in their mentality and attitude, for better or for worse. Each one of us has that undeniable power of persuasion, not so much through what we say, as what they see us do. The hated scribes and Pharisees in the New Testament were notorious for what they eventually became — hypocrites who only talked but did not not walk their talk.

       We are called to do better than the preachy scribes and the picky Pharisees. We ought to be cautious and conscious of what we are all called to become — a model for all believers! Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTION: Who is your role model in your spiritual life?

Lord, thank You for the Apostles and saints who have gone before us. Their lives tell us that it is possible to follow You no matter what our circumstances are.

Blessed Contrado Ferrini, pray for us.

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