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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

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Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17
Psalm 110:1-4
Mark 3:1-6

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the odd couple

"When the Pharisees went outside, they immediately began to plot with the Herodians how they might destroy [Jesus]." —Mark 3:6

What on earth were the Pharisees doing working together with the Herodians? The Herodians were supporters of King Herod and his policies. When push came to shove, Herod was likely more concerned with currying the favor of Rome than of observing the laws and traditions of his Jewish roots. The Pharisees were a group of Jews committed to following the Jewish laws and dedicated to holiness. Jesus commented on the outstanding holiness of the Pharisees (Mt 5:20). The Herodians probably had compromised their Jewish faith and lifestyle; the Pharisees were known for their uncompromising devotion to God, and perhaps on occasion their opposition to Roman rule.

Two groups that might seem to have little in common found something to bring them together: their opposition to Jesus (Mk 3:6; see also Mt 22:15-16). Herod himself and Pontius Pilate, "who had previously been set against each other" (Lk 23:12), became friends once they had mocked and insulted Jesus.

Who do you think is the last person or group on earth that you would ever be associated with? Is there a group with a cause that makes you nauseous? If you "fall away from your sincere and complete devotion to Christ" (2 Cor 11:3), you might soon find yourself preferring to work with that group in opposing Jesus. This prefigures hell itself. Those in hell have chosen to spend eternity with hateful demons rather than be associated with Jesus.

"Be on your guard" (Mk 13:5). Choose Jesus daily.

Prayer:  Father, keep me faithful to Your teaching and never let me be parted from You.

Promise:  "His hand was perfectly restored." —Mk 3:5

Praise:  Warren was so touched by the love and faith of the people attending his father's funeral that he began attending daily Mass and bringing others with him.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

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