The actions of these two influential Jewish leaders give insight into the charismatic power of Jesus and his teachings—and the risks that could be involved in following him.
Joseph was a respected, wealthy civic leader who had become a disciple of Jesus. Following the death of Jesus, Joseph obtained Jesus' body from Pilate, wrapped it in fine linen and buried it. For these reasons Joseph is considered the patron saint of funeral directors and pallbearers. More important is the courage Joseph showed in asking Pilate for Jesus' body. Jesus was a condemned criminal who had been publicly executed. According to some legends, Joseph was punished and imprisoned for such a bold act.
Nicodemus was a Pharisee and, like Joseph, an important first-century Jew. We know from John's Gospel that Nicodemus went to Jesus at night—secretly—to better understand his teachings about the kingdom. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus at the time of his arrest and assisted in Jesus' burial. We know little else about Nicodemus.
The world is charged with the grandeur of God. (Gerard Manley Hopkins) I dwell for a moment on the Presence of God around me, in every part of my body, and deep within my being.
"In these days, God taught me as a schoolteacher teaches a pupil" (Saint Ignatius). I remind myself that there are things God has to teach me yet, and ask for the grace to hear them and let them change me.
To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me. To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.
The Word of God
Wednesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 433 audio readings
1 Cor 3:1-9
Brothers and sisters, I could not talk to you as spiritual people, but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ. I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were unable to take it. Indeed, you are still not able, even now, for you are still of the flesh. While there is jealousy and rivalry among you, are you not of the flesh, and walking according to the manner of man? Whenever someone says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely men?
What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, just as the Lord assigned each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor. For we are God's co-workers; you are God's field, God's building.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21 R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down; he sees all mankind.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. From his fixed throne he beholds all who dwell on the earth, He who fashioned the heart of each, he who knows all their works.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield, For in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Alleluia Lk 4:18 R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor and to proclaim liberty to captives. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon's mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them.
At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, "You are the Son of God." But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.
At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, "To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent." And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ It's a really horrible scene portrayed for us here by Mark. It opens with the totally corrupt Herod at a royal banquet. We can only imagine the sumptuousness of the feast and the entertainments laid on. And then through his selfish cupidity he is cornered into taking the life of John, the outspoken Baptist and adding that horror to the entertainments of the evening. Nothing is sacred to this king.
▪ Contrast this with the quiet humility of John's disciples who mercifully look after his body and honour it with burial. What a sorrowful and humble group they appear as they bring some humanity to this awful scene.
▪ We know this affected Jesus deeply. Does it bring to mind any situations that you know?
Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you? Conclusion
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. (Luke 4:40)
The word was out—Jesus could heal the sick! Peter's mother-in-law was living proof, so people flocked to him in search of healing and deliverance. They even brought their friends. And he healed all of them.
This story tells us that healing the sick is at the heart of Jesus' ministry and at the forefront of his desires. That desire has not changed over the centuries. Jesus was happy to receive the people who came to him, and he wants no less for us to come to him and seek healing today.
But we often hold back. We don't expect to see healings. We might not even think to ask for something so bold. Maybe we're afraid of looking foolish, but more often than not, we don't think Jesus will heal us. We've all experienced the disappointment of praying for something and not getting it, at least not in the way we had expected. We've all experienced the need to keep praying because an answer doesn't come right away. So we feel disheartened.
It's a mystery why some prayers seem to get answered, and others don't. It's a mystery why some people get healed, and others don't. When we're talking about our relationship with God, mystery is something we can't get around. We will never be able to comprehend why God "does" some things and not others.
Some things don't change, however. Jesus is alwalys alive and in our midst. He always loves us, and he always delights in working in our lives. He always wants us to come and ask him for healing.
Will our prayers always get answered in the way we expect? Maybe not. But that doesn't necessarily mean we're not "praying right." Trust Jesus. Trust what's in his heart toward you and all his people. Ask for healing. Keep on asking. No matter what, Jesus will be pleased when you come to him and lay before him all the things on your heart.
Don't forget, Jesus does still heal. So invite him into all the situations in which you or a loved one or a friend needs his healing touch, and watch what he does!
"Jesus, I trust in your goodwill toward me. Lord, I need your healing touch!"
"For we are God's co-workers; you are God's field, God's building."
We prayed today "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own."
The Lord comes and we heard "...demons also came out from many, shouting, "You are the Son of God." Demons proclaim this is the Son of GOd and nobody believes. The Son of God comes saying He is the Son of GOD and hardly anybody believes. Today, I am a worker for God, I even wrote a new song this weekend saying the day I die, I will be trading all I've loved for the one I've worked for...the Lord.
Today, I'm at a funeral, pray for us. This life thing, it is passing fast. We are God's field and workers and Holy Church.
I Love God. I Love the Holy Church, and I BELIEVE!!!!!!!