Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

November 18, A.D. 2002

Revelation 1:1-4; 2:1-5
Revelation 2:17 and Psalm 1:1-4,6
Luke 18:35-43

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place unless you repent. (Revelation 2:5)

Our first reading addresses the Church at Ephesus, but its message is relevant to us today. The Faith is now being attacked by forces on many fronts trying to destroy the truth of the Christian message by diluting its moral imperatives. As in ancient Ephesus, some of our people labor strenuously to preserve orthodoxy; yet their very zeal may distract them from that which is primary and must always accompany truth - God's love. Truth, if divorced from love, can never attract followers; for absolute truth always springs directly from God's love; the two are actually one. Christ criticized the Ephesian Church because while fighting bravely to preserve doctrinal truths, they had lost their ardor; they lacked a palpable love for God and man.

It was for this serious infraction that the Ephesians could lose their lampstand, a fate that could befall segments of our Church today. This would be devastating, for the lampstand is that on which "light" is set. Christ Himself is the "light of the world;" once that light is removed, darkness prevails, causing many souls to be lost. Christ's light is the fire of God's love; it is the sacrificial love of God that Jesus embodies, that ignites and fuels the Church's light, not sterile human efforts.

Our Church busily performs many good works to help those who are poor, sick, uneducated, oppressed and exploited. Yet we also see great breaches of charity, infidelities to the Spirit of the law because the motive force behind much of our efforts is an institution mainly impelled by habit, duty, even pride rather than an overflow of God's love. St. Paul warns the Corinthians, "If I give away everything I own and hand my body over that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."

O Most Holy Spirit,
reveal us to ourselves,
that in seeing the truth of our spiritual poverty,
our loveless hearts,
we would turn to You for healing.

- Marie L. Bocko, ocds (mlbocko@borg.com)

For the saint, feast or memorial of this day


Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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