11 Dec
Mon 2nd Week of Advent
St Damasus I, Pope
Is. 35:1-10
Ps. 95:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
Lk. 5:17-26
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     Out of Jesus' own mouth, as a response to His critics, we hear that it is easier to perform the miracle of healing the paralyzed man than to forgive his sins. Yet, we presume that when He says that the man's sins are forgiven, it is implied that he receives healing as well. Forgiving sin is much bigger than healing a physical condition because it is an innate part of being a human being. Sin is what can cripple us and make us blind. When we regard the Gospel passage in light of the first reading, we see that the story about a man who is paralyzed reflects the full impact of who Jesus is and the message that He brings. Jesus is the promise which comes to fruition when the lame or paralyzed man is able to leap, like a deer, off the bed that has been his home for so long.

    Luke's Gospel owes a great deal to the Old Testament for Jesus is the answer to the hope that is expressed in Isaiah. Jesus is the one who will accomplish all that has been promised. Our innate sinfulness is what makes us lame, blind, deaf and dumb. The call in the Gospel today is to bring our sin to Jesus in faith, faith that is as strong as that of the paralyzed man.

     Lord Jesus, You are the one who can restore creation and give new courage and hope. This is what we pray for as we await His birth during this advent season.
Eternal Father, I offer You everything I do this day; my thoughts, words, joys and sufferings. Grant that, vivified by the Holy Spirit and united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, my life this day may be of service to You and to others. I also pray that all those preparing for marriage discover in Sacrament the source of Christ's grace for living a fithful and fruitful love. Amen.

That the celebration of the Jubilee may become the source of a new commitment in men and women of good will to protect and promote human life.

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P R A Y I N G    W I T H    T H E    C H U R C H    

INTENTION : That the celebration of the Jubilee may become the source of a new commitment in men and women of good will to protect and promote human life.

In the threshold of the year 2001, it is our duty to renew our commitment to safeguarding the dignity of the poor and marginalised and to recognise in a practical way the rights of those who have no rights. This is the spirit of the new millennium which presupposes the following: The basic right to life which is inviolable which involves a positive choice for life. The development of a culture of this kind embraces all the circumstances of life and ensures the promotion of human dignity in every situation.

Recent developments in the field of genetic engineering present a profoundly disquieting challenge. In order that scientific research in this area may be at the service of the person, it must be accompanied at every stage by careful ethical reflection, which will bring about adequate legal norms safeguarding the integrity of human life. Life can never be downgraded to the level of a thing.

To choose life involves rejecting every form of violence. In every circumstance, the right to life must be promoted and safeguarded with appropriate legal and political guarantees. Let us raise our voices on their behalf.

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