Thursday of the 13th Week of the Year

Matt 9:1-8

The Healing of a Paralytic

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Once a student asked in class: “How can an action, so human, natural, common and even pleasant be ever sinful?” He was referring to self-abuse, an act which, as he learned from some other class, is widely practiced, hence, sound. The teacher, noticing the faces of the other students pleading anxiously for an answer, felt like Amos, for he was put on the spot to speak on a delicate issue.

“First of all,” he started, “there is a strong suspicion that masturbation stunts growth.” The class, noticing, the teacher’s Zaccheus-like stature, snickered. “Then,” the teacher bravely continued, “self-gratification, is self-centered (read: selfish). Thirdly, after the act comes a gnawing feeling of not having dome what is right. Finally, masturbation stifles and closes the connection of the springs of goodness to which everyone contributes and from which we all draw our share. Seen from the common good, masturbation, despite being a private act, does harm to the individual committing it and to the community to which he belongs.”

In the story of salvation, the Israelites banished Amos to the land of Judah. Their playing deaf to God’s spokesman in order to satisfy their wayward urges led to the destruction of their kingdom. Conversely, as in the case of the paralytic, forgiveness of sins brought about healing. (Fr. Flor Lagura, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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A doctor sent a very sick woman to a specialist of a hospital with top of the line medical apparatuses and machines. After some sessions with the said specialist, the woman’s health gradually improved. At first glance, the woman seems to be responding very well with the treatment she was getting at the high-tech hospital.

The woman’s doctor was greatly stunned. He asked her: “Is that you, my lady? Did something unusual happen since I last saw you? What treatment are you undergoing?” “Yes, it is me,” said the patient, “I kissed and made up with a childhood friend with whom I have been quarreling these past years. I’ve been harboring hatred against her in my heart for years. Recently, I’ve reconciled with her and since then I have lived in peace.”

Modern medicine is beginning to confirm what ancient peoples suspected all along. There is a link between sin and sickness. This could explain why Jesus forgave the paralyzed man first. Perhaps Jesus sensed that in this man’s case spiritual healing must come before physical healing.

S. Connie of the Sisters of St. Dominic is a healer in Tagaytay City. She shared with us that before she heals a person, she recommends that he/she first goes to the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. And most often, the person is healed of his/her affliction. (Fr. Fred Mislang, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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Whenever I facilitate recollections and retreats, the most heartwarming and moving part is when people bravely and tearfully forgive one another, concluding with an embrace of acceptance and welcome.

Forgiveness is acceptance. It is the recognition of another person’s worth and value despite his/her imperfections and external deformities. The person in our gospel today is a paralytic and by this we understand that he is physically challenged, a person so marginalized and avoided.

Religious beliefs prevalent in the time of Jesus forbid association with such persons. Sickness is indicative of a punishment for sinfulness and dealing with the sick is sharing in that punishment which renders the person unclean and impure, disabling him/her from entering the temple for worship. Jesus defied this prohibition giving the sick the understanding, attention and concern they deserved but were deprived of.

In our society, there are many people who are sick. They are not only those who are physically ill but also those who have become our problems because of their delinquencies, indifferent behaviors and unbecoming attitudes. They are the ills of society which many reject. Do we Christians turn away from them?

As Christians, we are not only challenged but also called to extend our hands and reach out to their kind. I believe this is a key to that transformed society we all dream and pray for, a society characterized by love for all – a “Christian” society which regards even the unloved highly. This is our vocation as followers of the Lord. The gospel tells us that when we welcome, accept and worship those we despise and hate, we proclaim that we truly follow Him. (Frt. Ruel F. Lero, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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When sickness strikes us we normally get healthy again. But it is different with persons with disabilities. They go through life with their impairment. It is estimated that some 10% of the population were born with disabilities. It is not really their condition that sets them apart but the regard of so-called ‘normal members” of society. They are considered and treated as second-class citizens. They often received pity or condescending charity. That hurts. Their longing is to be accepted as equal.

Jesus meets them as human persons. Jesus makes no discrimination as the gospel illustrates. He put a paralytic man (the gospel does not indicate what state of paralysis he was in) into the center of attention. It was as symbolic act of bringing back a disability, into the center, into the mainstream of society inhabited by so-called “normal” or healthy people. This scene reminds me of hearing impaired high school graduate, a young girl, who gave a message in sign language during the graduation ceremony of Divine Word College of Calapan last March 2006. Not everybody understand probably, but she proudly stood among equals.

Somebody proposed to change the expression “people with disabilities” to “people differently abled.” We all are differently abled. We could bring in our difference to build communities, neighborhoods and relationships. When many do it, the Kingdom of God is at hand. (Fr. Ewald Dinter, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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The lowly onion is appreciated for the health benefits it provides, but not for its pungent smell that permeates and sticks to everything around it.

The onion could be likened to the love of God. His love permeates and transforms, like onions that change the taste of food. Let us reflect on the transforming words of Jesus which when heard spread the love of God.

Like the paralytic man in our gospel today, we all need to be told, “Your sins are forgiven.” Our foremost need is to be FORGIVEN, for most of our miseries are the effects of sin.

The paralytic man is HEALED. Like him, we all need healing. None of us are wholly sound. We all need a physician. This healing is to be carried out in the spirit and power of Jesus.

After such healing, the man is ENLISTED. Every healing that we experience is a call to discipleship, a call to serve.

Finally, the paralytic man is ACCEPTED. We need to be accepted by Jesus and the people around us. This shows that our call is to create a loving fellowship with people and not to turn away people.

Like the paralytic man in the gospel, we all need to be FORGIVEN, HEALED, ENLISTED and ACCEPTED. Just like the onion which changes how other foods are perceived and received, God’s love also changes how we are known. What paralyzes you from transforming yourselves to the love of God? (Fr. Nestor L. Sibug, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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June 30, 2016 Thursday

In Argentina, I once absolved the sins of a troubled woman who had had four forced abortions and saw how she was transformed from pain to joy, freed from the thought of “condemnation” to hell.

Jesus Christ wants us to be healthy and happy. In today’s gospel, we find Him in total control of the situation over sickness and manifests his love by curing the paralytic man. Jesus also cures the soul/ spirit. How?

  1. Jesus forgives. He restores the health of the paralytic by forgiving and accepting him. Jesus forgives us but we also need to have that courage to accept it like the woman in the story and the paralytic in the gospel.
  2. Jesus heals. There are times when Christ’s answer to our clamor to get well from physical sickness is NO but spiritually he always heals us, giving us strength and hope to go on even in suffering. He shares our suffering and pain.
  3. Jesus liberates us from the slavery of sin that hinders us from moving on and growing/living a meaningful life in Him. He teaches us to be transformed persons – avoiding the root causes of our sickness and the slavery of sin. He offers us a new and clean life.

In times of sickness, Jesus’ comforting words to us are the same, “Courage my son; your sins are forgiven; rise and be a good person”. There is no sin too big that God cannot forgive; there is no sin too small that God cannot see. Like the paralytic man, let us humbly beg Jesus to heal us by trusting Him. Surely he will show us his mercy and liberating authority. (Fr. Romulo Laguicao, SVD | Argentina Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/720-june-30-2016-thursday

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Jesus heals a paralytic: “Your sins are forgiven.” A doctor sent a very sick woman to a specialist. When the specialist checked the woman, he found her condition greatly improved.

The woman’s doctor was stunned. He asked her, “Did anything unusual happen since I last saw you.” “Yes, said the patient, “I made up with a childhood friend with whom I had been feuding for years.”

Modern medicine is beginning to confirm what ancient peoples suspected: there’s often a link between sin and sickness.

This could explain why Jesus forgave the paralyzed man first. Perhaps Jesus sensed that in this man’s case spiritual healing must precede physical healing.

What spiritual heal do we feel a need for?

“The man who pursues revenge should dig two graves, one for his enemy and one for himself” – Chinese proverb. (Illustrated Daily Homilies, Weekdays by Mark Link, SJ published 1987 p. 122)

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reflection for July 2, Thursday; Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 9:1-8

Reflection: What does this story of the paralytic who was brought to Jesus tells us? It tells us that we too need to go to Jesus for Him to heal us and to forgive us of all our sins. This tells us also that we also need to bring others to Jesus to be healed and forgiven by Him too!

We all have a need for Jesus in our lives. We may not need Him now because we are in the pink of health. But time will certainly come that we will be forced to go to Him even beg Him so that Jesus could heal us also.

Let us not anymore wait for that time to come when we are already sick before we go to Jesus. Let us go to Him now while we are healthy or in the pink of health Let us not delay for tomorrow may be late already.

In like manner we too are encouraged by the gospel to bring others to Jesus. This we could do best through our acts of love, mercy and compassion. For we can’t bring others to Jesus without loving them, without showing them our mercy and compassion.

We certainly can’t bring others to Jesus if we judge them. Let us rather help them and try to understand them and be more patient with them. So that they could be enlightened by Jesus as Jesus has enlightened us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/07/reflection-for-july-2-thursday.html

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Reflection for June 30, Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in OT; Matthew 9:1-8

Reflection: Can we obtain the same forgiveness of sins that Jesus gave to the paralytic?

Yes we can! The same forgiveness is given to us by the priest who acts in Persona Christi (In the Person of Christ) the moment we humbly submit ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession. However, the sad part is this: Not everyone is aware of this grace of forgiveness!

If only they have an awareness of the grace that is given to us by Jesus when we submit ourselves to this sacrament we would not think twice to humbly submit ourselves to the healing Sacrament of Confession.

A large part of the blame why not everyone is educated about this sacrament lies on us who know the enormous gift of the Sacrament of Confession. Because we don’t bother to share what we know and we don’t live and pay forward the grace that we receive from Jesus through this sacrament.

It’s never too late to repent, it’s never too late to ask God to heal us of our many sickness caused by our sinfulness. Let us go and humbly submit ourselves to this healing sacrament and let us not also forget to share the grace that we have received from this healing Sacrament.

Will you humbly submit yourself to this healing Sacrament today or perhaps in the coming days? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/06/reflection-for-june-30-thursday.html

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Fathoming Christ’s Mercy

July 2, 2015 (readings)

Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 9:1-8

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town. And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” He rose and went home. When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to men.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to you in this meditation ready to do whatever it is you ask. Left to myself I often take the easy and convenient path, yet I know the way of a Christian is through the narrow gate. In you I find the reason to abandon the easy path for a more perfect mission of love. I’m ready to learn the meaning of your command: “Follow me.”

Petition: Lord, grant me a deeper experience of your mercy.

  1. Crippled by Control:For St. Jerome, physical paralysis is an image of man’s inability to return to God by his own efforts. It is man’s inability to create his own salvation, to set the terms by which he can say he has made peace with God. The paralysis is meant to speak more to the Pharisees about their souls than to the cripple who bears it. Christ saw stagnation in the Pharisees’ hearts. They wanted to put God in a box, where their relationship with him could neatly accommodate their status and comforts. We, like the Pharisees, like our routine. We like to coast in our spiritual life and dislike having to adjust to God’s asking for more faith, trust or charity. For saintly souls, Christ is ever new; they are always being asked for more, and new experiences of Christ fill them as a result. Their love never goes stale since they refuse to control what God can do with them.
  2. The Only Real Problem Is Sin:The paralytic and his companions arrive concerned only about his physical condition. This is not, however, what is first on Christ’s priority list. What is first, rather, is the man’s state of soul. For God the problem of life is not about problems. Problems are merely the pretexts he sends us to heal and develop our relationship with him: “Your sins are forgiven.” The problem of life is all about holiness and about removing the chief obstacle to holiness: sin. Deep down, the only things that can hurt us are the obstacles of sin and an egoistic lifestyle.
  3. Awaiting God’s Replies:The pause between “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven you” and the cure of the paralysis initially may have caused disappointment in those unfamiliar with Christ’s way of working. In that wait our response to God comes, and our part in the plan of salvation is played out. Instant gratification of a child’s wants spoils the meaning of his parents’ gift of loving support. To arrive to Christian maturity, we must form the virtues of faith and trust. Seeking cures must be sought more as part of God’s will than as our own self-centered relief effort. This takes time. Yet even in that pause, in the dark night of faith, something is happening. While miracles are on the way, we are being changed. The command to rise seems only to confirm or make visible something that has already occurred in the paralytic’s soul: through faith and trust, Christ reigns over his soul.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I know that in you alone I shall rise, because only you can conquer sin in me. For my part, like St. Paul, I have sought to fight the good fight, strengthened by your grace and mercy. Help me to accept every difficulty as a new chance to purify my heart and sanctify my soul.

Resolution: Today I will remember to avoid rash and judgmental thoughts of others. As I do so I will keep in my heart the merciful dispositions of Christ’s heart.

© 1980-Present. The Legion of Christ, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission of Copyright Owner.

epriest.com/reflections/view/437

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One Bread, One Body – Reflection for July 2, 2015

THE ULTIMATE FINANCIAL SECURITY

“Abraham named the site Yahweh-yireh; hence people now say, ‘On the mountain the Lord will see.’ ” –Genesis 22:14

God the Father sees to our needs. He cares for us and gives us our daily bread (Mt 6:11). As His children, we don’t have to worry about what we are to eat, drink, or wear (Mt 6:31). God our Father is a perfect Provider. Therefore, we have complete financial security.

However, if we aren’t aware of the perfect providence of God, we may feel obligated to try to take care of ourselves, as if we were Yahweh-Yireh. Of course, we will not be able to do this satisfactorily. Thus, we will probably be frustrated and insecure.

Jesus came into this world to reveal to us God the Father. Jesus is the only Way to the Father (Jn 14:6). Jesus has made it clear that the providence of God the Father is “concrete and immediate” (Catechism, 303). If we let Him, our Father will provide for all our legitimate needs or do something even greater – for example, take us into the mystery of His Son’s suffering and death. We can trust God the Father completely in life, death, after life, and forever. Trust Abba!

PRAYER: Father, by Your grace I will trust You in the areas where I have been most afraid to trust You.

PROMISE: “Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.” –Mt 9:2

PRAISE: Sylvia had to live out of her car for more than a year, but the Lord met all of her needs day by day.

mycatholic.com/reflections/2015-183.html

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July 2, 2015

Thursday of the 13th Week in the Ordinary Time B

Gen 22: 1-19, Mt 9:1-8

Healing the Person- Body and Soul

Today we have the passage from Mathew where Jesus is healing a paralytic man. Jesus had been asked to leave the land of Gadarenes since he allowed the demons to enter the pigs and they died throwing themselves into the sea. Since they lost their business due to the loss of pigs Jesus was asked to leave. And Jesus obliges. He comes to Capernaum again. There this paralytic was brought to Jesus by his friends. Seeing the faith of the friends Jesus tells him, “Take heart, my son. Your sins are forgiven.”

Naturally the Scribes are scandalized since only God can forgive sins. Here is a man who proclaims “Your sins are forgiven.” Jesus could easily heal the paralytic just by a word and thus could avoid controversies. But Jesus is different. He does not see any body as we see. When he heals he heals the total person, not just the body. Today there are many people who think that they are their bodies. Satisfying the bodily needs and desires occupies prime concern to them.

Man is his body, mind and soul. When somebody is healed he should be healed in his totality. The paralysis of the soul and the mind can be more dangerous to the person than his physical illness. When the wholeness is restored he comes back to the state of the child of God. So Jesus tells him, “My son, take heart”. He becomes a child of God when his sins are forgiven. The crippled who was looked down at by his family and the society considering him a burden, now becomes the child of God.

Jesus wants to heal you and me. We are also crippled and bedridden. We are also considered a burden to the family and the society some times. But Jesus sweetly calls me, “My son”. Let us submit ourselves to the mercy of the Lord so that he may bring us also back to wholeness. Dr. Martin Mallathu CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-07-2

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Thursday of the13th Week in Ordinary Time

Am 7: 10-17; Mt 9: 1-8

Healing of the Paralyzed

  1. B. Meyer says: “You do not test the resources of God until you try the impossible.” In the miracle of the healing of the paralyzed man we find some men trying the impossible to get the resources of God. All three Synoptic record the story, and in all three it is connected with a controversy about the authority to forgive sins. The setting for the healing of the paralytic is Capernaum. Jesus was teaching “in the house” plausibly the house of Simon and Andrew.

The men try the impossible when they bring to Jesus a paralyzed person. They are unable to get through the crowd, and so they go up the staircase on the side of the house. They removed the roof and lowered the man into the presence of Jesus. Seeing the faith of those who carried him, Jesus says,” My child, your sins are for-given.” The paralytic, rises up, picks up his bedding and goes home. The result is the usual amazement and astonishment of the crowd. They glorify God, not Jesus.

This story can be approached and interpreted from theological perspective. The paralyzed man and the people who brought him to Jesus believed that Jesus has the power to heal. The fact that they overcome all the obstacles to come to Jesus and the fact that they used an extraordinary means to bring the man to Jesus, indicate their conviction and confidence. They believed that Jesus could cure the paralytic. Jesus offers him first inner healing by his powerful words: “My son your sins are forgiven” and then responds to his physical illness saying: “Stand up and take your mat and go home”

It is said when faith goes to the market it takes a basket. When we are going to the church to pray for rain we take an umbrella. Then we are showing great conviction like those who carried the paralyzed person. There is no mention of the faith of the paralyzed.  The faith of those who carried him was enough for Jesus to effect a healing.

In our daily life we intercede before God for the healing of many people. The episode illustrates that our faith itself can bring healing to the person. Let faith be our weapon when we pray for others. Faith helps us to trust on God, receive from God, respond to God and rejoice in God. Fr. Davis Panadan CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-6-30

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

THURSDAY OF THE 13TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MATEO 9:1-8. UNSA MAY MAKAPARALISA SA TAWO? Labaw sa sakit nga lawasnon, ang makapaangol sa tawo mao ang sakit nga espirituhanon. Ang sala makaparalisa sa kasingkasing ug hunahuna. Tungod niini maglisod kita sa pag-alagad ug paghigugma sa usag-usa. Pananglitan, ang tawo nga bintahoso ug laog dili makatabang sa may panginahanglan, ug ang tawo nga adunay kerida dili makahatag og saktong pagtagad sa iyang pamilya. Aron kita makalingkawas sa talikala sa sala, gikinahanglan nato ang makaluwas nga lihok sa Dios diha sa sakramento sa Pagpakighiuli. Pinaagi sa pagkompisal, atong madawat ang kapasayloan sa sala ug ang bag-ong sinugdanan sa kinabuhi. Sama sa mga tawo nga nagdala sa ilang kauban nga paralitiko ngadto kang Hesus, magtinabangay usab kita sa pagdala sa usag-usa ngadto sa Dios. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/07/thursday-of-13th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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ABOVE ALL, GOD HEALS THE SOUL – The healing of the paralytic and the encounter with the teachers of the law reveal who Jesus is and the relationship between sin and physical sickness. The culture of the Jews (which most cultures, including the Philippines, also adopt) sees some illnesses as connected to the sins of the person or society. For them, sin affects the human body and causes physical ailments. In this Gospel incident, the words of Jesus, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven,” and “Get up, take your mat and go home,” mean the same thing. The accusation of blasphemy is more for His capacity to heal the sickness and forgive the sin that caused it, since they believe only God forgives sins. Because they do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, their ignorance of the truth moved them to accuse Jesus.

That issue was not settled immediately. Meantime, Jesus is confronted by someone’s need to be healed physically and spiritually. This healing is a sign that would hopefully lead people to believe and understand.

But the more important thing here is the religious message of Jesus. He heals not only the physical but, more importantly, the spiritual. The whole person must be saved, but that can only happen if there is forgiveness. This differentiates Jesus from other healers, both then and now. Physical healers address the physical sickness. Jesus addresses the root of the problem, not only the symptom. In the process, complete healing takes place.

Let us ask for the grace of healing — both physical and spiritual. Definitely, God will heal us spiritually, i.e., forgive our sins when we repent. That is His primary concern. When that happens, we should be thankful. If God wills that the physical sickness it caused will also be healed, thanks again to God. If not, gratitude should also prevail. Remember that when we face God, we present to Him a pure soul, more than a complete and healthy body. Let us pray that the Lord will grant us a healthy life, but beg Him to give us souls worthy of the Kingdom. Fr. Benny Tuazon

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you have any ailment that you want to be healed of? Present it to God and ask Him for the grace of healing and forgiveness.

Forgive me, Lord, and heal me.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-07-02

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PRAYER POWER – And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. – Matthew 9:2

After my mom’s operation, she had to stay in the hospital longer since fluid was coming out of her wound. We asked prayers from friends and relatives for it to dry up. The servants from the community prayed, Mass was offered for her, and the priest even visited us.

The following day, we were surprised to see there was not even a trace of fluid on her bandage. I informed her doctor, who told me that she was also praying that same night. She told the Lord that she hadn’t asked for a miracle lately, and prayed to give my mom the healing she needed.

I was in awe and I thanked God! With a smile, I asked,       “Lord, whose prayer did You answer? Or was it deafening since everyone was praying?”

Yes, we can pray for others. Just like the men in today’s reading who carried a sick man for Jesus to heal, our prayer matters.

We are part of God’s master plan to bless others. Dreus Cosio (andreus.cosio@gmail.com)

Reflection: Who can you bring to Jesus in prayer? Offer a prayer for them now.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for this wonderful day. Bring to my heart and mind people I need to pray for. Please bless them. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-06-30

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June 30, 2016

REFLECTION:

We are remembering today the dozens of nameless Christians who perished during the first persecution inflicted on Christians, the one of depraved and brutal Emperor Nero, who hounded them mercilessly between the years 64 and 68, until death by suicide in 68 ended his horrible reign.

The pretext for this persecution was the following. Nero was infatuated with Greek architecture and wanted to rebuild a particular section of Rome in that style. So at night he sent his henchmen to set it on fire and thus destroy it completely. But when the public rumor pointed at him as the instigator of the fire, he needed scapegoats to blame for it. So he blamed the Christians and launched a vast persecution throughout Rome and its suburbs. Some Christians were dressed into animal skins and hunted down in the imperial parks, while others were made living torches to light the road for Nero’s nocturnal chariot rides.
Are there persecutions in our day? Yes, there are. A top Vatican official recently (on May 28, 2013 on Vatican Radio) said that around 100,000 Christians are killed every year for their faith.

To be a true Christian is to be ready to die for Christ. Are we true Christians?

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines

Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3569-june-30-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Thursday of the 13th Week of the Year

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