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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

July 16, A.D. 2004

Scripture from Today's Liturgy of the Word:

Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22
Isaiah 38:10-12, 16
Matthew 12:1-8

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

Our readings today clearly emphasize God's mercy--first to King Hezekiah, who has begged the Lord with bitter tears to change His mind(!) about the king's certain death. To the amazement of all, God does change His mind, and causes the sun to reverse its shadow on the Temple steps as a sign. Even God's absolute Will is affected by His Mercy!

An event like this astonishes and humbles us. How often have we wept bitterly enough for our sins? How often have we confidently besought the mercy of the Lord?

In the Gospel, Jesus proclaims the priority of Mercy over Sacrifice. "It is mercy I desire and not sacrifice" are shocking words to a ritualist or a legalist. Of course, God wants sacrifice--but even the Sacrifice of the Cross was interrupted by a successful plea for mercy by the Good Thief. How many times have irritating judgment and even condemnation marred participation at holy Mass? O Lord, I am sorry. I beg forgiveness, that you may be merciful in the face of my many faults.

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. May the spirit of Elijah, and the spirit of St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Therese of the Child Jesus permeate, renew, and give joy to all Carmelites, and particularly to the Secular Carmelites who inspire this meditation service.

- Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore
(smartins at twcny dot rr dot com)


Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Our Lady of Mount Carmel

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


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