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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

March 18, A.D. 2003

Isaiah 1:10,16-20
Psalm 50: 8-9,16-17,21,23
Matthew 23:1-12

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

"All their works are performed to be seen." (Matthew 23:5)

One mark of humility is the ability to admit being wrong, that someone else has a greater wisdom than we. True humility results from our drawing close to God, for He alone can impart this virtue to us. As we draw close to Him, His Holy Spirit bathes us in His truth and love; and in this light we begin to see our sins and imperfections. He does this not to "put us down" but actually to "lift us up" out of sin to a higher level of existence, to participate fully in the perfect life exemplified in Christ. God's purpose is to make us worthy citizens of His kingdom.

Our need for this process called sanctification, as revealed in today's readings, requires discipline which means that from moment to moment, through our choices, we are to conform our will to God's will. We will experience failures along the way until we become proficient in hearing God and obeying His Word. Our assent to God's wisdom is the only way open to us if together with others we sincerely wish to build communities and nations pervaded by peace, justice and joy, and to build a world that gives honor and glory to God and to us as His children. Failures should not discourage us but be seen as opportunities given to us by God to move up higher, come closer to Him through repentance and reform. Also we must trust that God's commands are given to us as mercy, not as means of judging us harshly; for God knows our human weaknesses and sees every mitigating circumstance affecting our choices.

Christ's indictment of the Pharisees and Scribes applies to Church people in every age, those who outwardly and pridefully flaunt their piety while inwardly remaining devoid of God's life. God cannot fill a vessel with His goodness, truth and love if it is already filled to the brim with "self."

Father of life, truth and love, open our hearts to receive and obey your Word, that He may free us from our self-imposed darkness. Amen.

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


St. Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop, doctor of the Church

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


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