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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

September 27, A.D. 2005

Zechariah 8:20-23
Psalm 87:1-7
Luke 9:51-56

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

In today's gospel we see once again the great contrast in what were age-old beliefs and the changes that Jesus brought to us. For what appears to be a minor offense, James and John asked the Lord if they should bring destruction to the Samaritans -- only to be promptly rebuked by Jesus. There are some interesting lessons to be learned here.

First, it would appear that these two disciples had been given some powers, or at least thought they had control of some heavenly powers through their association with Jesus. Jesus' refusal to allow them to use this power for bad purposes, is very powerful in itself and teaches us the lesson that any power we are given should be used only for the good of others and never for bad.

Second, there was an age-old animosity between the Jews and Samaritans and Jesus refusal to use destructive powers, teaches us there is a new way to treat our enemies: with love and respect. The respectful way to eliminate an enemy is to make him a friend and not to destroy him -- which supports the first lesson we learned.

Finally, there is a hint of the lesson that Jesus taught about "turning the other cheek" in this passage. After Jesus rebuked the disciples, they left for another village and avoided the Samaritans. When one meets an enemy it is much better to turn and walk away than confront them and cause more hatred.

Jesus' message of love, compassion and peace was strange to his followers. They lived in a country occupied by a foreign force, subject to oppression and laws that conflicted many times with their faith. They had been looking to a political messiah and instead found the true Messiah of peace. A Messiah whose lessons came hard at times, and continue to come hard today.

- Don Claunch, SFO
(dlclaunch at bresnan dot net)

Lives of the saints:

Tuesday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Vincent de Paul, priest

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


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