Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
August 11, A.D. 2005
Joshua 3: 7-11, 13-17
Psalm 114: 1-6
Matthew 18: 21--19: 1
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
Should you not have mercy on your fellow servant as I had mercy on you?
(see Matthew 18: 33)
During its two thousand years Christianity has suffered many attacks.
One of the deadliest now presents God in disguise. No longer is He
shown to be the Source of all love and truth whom His children are to
obey; instead our Father is depicted as an overindulgent parent
offering us blanket forgiveness for our transgressions through
His Son sent by Him to be our "buddy." Were sin of no consequence,
as this absurd attitude suggests, then Christ's death on the cross
can be considered a mere cruel and empty charade.
Sin against God is a deadly, grievous offense, for it is willful separation
from His goodness that opens us to behavior destructive to this world's
peace and justice. Yet, while we were existing in this abominable,
immoral state, Christ offered Himself sacrificially to satisfy God's
justice and win our forgiveness. His death, an act of selfless love,
invites us to join Him by also dying to our sin and, by His grace,
learning to live in God's goodness and peace.
This relates to today's Gospel because refusing forgiveness only
perpetuates anger and alienation. God forgave us to reestablish
peace between Himself and His children; therefore He expects us
to extend this same forgiveness that He gave us to those who have
offended us. Heartfelt forgiveness embraces the offender in God's
love; and while that person may refuse our offer of reconciliation,
being genuinely Christian calls us to participate in and direct
Christ's forgiving love toward all.
O Loving Father, open our hearts ever more widely to Your forgiving
love, that this world may see in action, the only means to its enjoying
true peace and justice. Amen.
- Marie Bocko, OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)
Lives of the saints:
The Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Clare, virgin
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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