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COMMENTARY
First Reading

Facing opposition to recovery

The Lord GOD opened my ear; I did not refuse, did not turn away. (NAB)

Isaiah 50:4-6 The Messiah is speaking here of his own determination to follow God’s call to him in spite of the hardships involved. He serves as a model to us in times when we need courage to follow through and obey God.

Sometimes God’s program for us is difficult. It may involve receiving rebukes, suffering shame, or being misunderstood by those who do not like what we’re doing. We will face opposition to the recovery process because many people don’t want to lose their influence over us, or they feel threatened by our change in lifestyle. We must stand up to them and follow through with God’s plan for us.

SOURCE: Content taken from THE LIFE RECOVERY BIBLE notes by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop. Copyright © 1998, 2017. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.

Psalm

God cares for you and will help you

Indeed, many dogs surround me, a pack of evildoers closes in upon me; They have pierced my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones. (NAB)

Ps 22:6-11 When things aren’t going well, we may experience low self-esteem, feeling like a “worm.” But God cares for us and will help us. Others may mock us, doubting that God can really save us. We should ignore these people because we know God is there to rescue us. He has helped before, ever since our birth, and he will surely continue to help us through the low points in our life.

Ps 22:12-21 For many of us, these verses describe the results of our addiction. People may torment us, making fun of our problems. The physical pain described here reminds us of the effects of drugs or alcohol, or the symptoms of withdrawal. When we seek recovery, we have the help of a God who understands our pain. Jesus Christ experienced similar conditions during his earthly life; he also had to face death. He was surrounded, crucified, gawked at, and stripped of his dignity. Jesus knows how we feel, and he is with us through each step in the recovery process.

SOURCE: Content taken from THE LIFE RECOVERY BIBLE notes by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop. Copyright © 1998, 2017. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.

Second Readings

Jesus is our ideal model for humility

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; (NAB)

Phil 2:5-11 Jesus Christ is our ideal model for humility in obedience and service. Our thoughts, attitudes, and actions are to be patterned after Christ. His willingness to humbly obey his Father is a great example for us.

As we take an honest moral inventory of our life, we must humbly admit our faults so we can begin to change our destructive patterns. If we follow Jesus Christ in humility, learning to admit our failures without hesitation, nothing will be able to stop our recovery.

SOURCE: Content taken from THE LIFE RECOVERY BIBLE notes by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop. Copyright © 1998, 2017. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.

Gospel

God does not offer instant cures

So they brought the colt to Jesus and put their cloaks over it. And he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road,  and others spread leafy branches  that they had cut from the fields. (NAB)

Mark 11:1-10 As we suffer the pain of our addiction, we often look for instant relief. We wish someone would come and sweep all our problems away. The Judeans were expecting the same kind of deliverance from their Messiah. They wanted a glorious political king on a warhorse to ride into Jerusalem and sweep the Romans out of power. Instead, Jesus came riding on a lowly donkey, in peace.

God does not offer instant cures; he works our recovery through a process of personal growth, from the inside out. He helps us recognize our sins and our need for help, and he gives us the strength to take the necessary steps toward recovery

SOURCE: Content taken from THE LIFE RECOVERY BIBLE notes by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop. Copyright © 1998, 2017. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

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