Tuesday of the Rogation of Ninivites

The first reading for today is 1 Samuel 7:3-9. It records the admonition of Samuel to the Israelites to put aside the idols and serve Yahweh exclusively. They assemble at Mizpah and fast. Samuel prays for them offering a sacrifice to deliver the people from the Philistines.

The second reading is Isaiah 59:1-18. The prophet tells the Israelites in Babylonian exile that their multifarious sins brought about the calamities upon them despite neither the fact that Yahweh’s hand is not too short to save nor His ear too dull to hear. Since they did not take care to be protected by Yahweh nor pray to Him for deliverance, the calamities were brought about by themselves.


The third reading is Rom. 12:1-21. In this long passage St. Paul at first exhorts the faithful not to be conformed to this world. As the members of the Mystical Body of Christ, each one has to fulfil the duties proper to him or her. Next, the Apostle mentions the marks of a true Christian. They are the following in brief: Doing good, loving each other, patient in suffering, persevering in prayer, helping others in their needs, extending hospitality to strangers, loving enemies, participating in the joys and sorrows of fellow Christians, being humble and feeding even the enemies.


The fourth reading for today is Lk.18:2-14. At first we see Christ stressing through a parable the need of perseverance in prayer as the widow in the parable persevered in requesting the unjust judge to grant her justice against her opponent. Next we see Christ telling another parable. This is the prayer of the Pharisee and the tax collector. What the Pharisee said in his prayer was correct. He described his good deeds and thanked God for enabling him to do them. Still he was estimated as lower to the tax collector after the prayer of both. What was the mistake of the Pharisee? He spurned others who were considered to be sinners including the tax collector and declared himself perfect comparing himself to them. But he had to make the comparison not with other human beings, but rather with the holiness of God taking into consideration his shortcomings and pray for God’s help to attain a higher degree of perfection. The Rogation of Ninivites reminds each human being about his sinfulness rather than perfection.


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Credits: Father Thomas Kalayil, CMI <thomas 'dot' kalayil 'at' cmi 'dot' in>


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