Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
March 17, A.D. 2006
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28
Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
"The kingdom of God will be taken from you
and given to a people that will produce fruit."
(see Matthew 21:43)
Joseph's life in Genesis illustrates the marvel of God's forgiving and saving power. He was the youngest in a family of boys envious of him because they thought him their father's favorite. This drove them to consider murder, but relented and instead sold him into slavery, telling their father that wild beasts had devoured him. God in His time turned their viciousness into blessings. Joseph's God-given talents and goodness won him the second most powerful position in Egypt, and years later was reconciled with his family when he saved their lives by providing food during a famine in Israel.
Christ's parable in today's Gospel again reveals a similar destructive envy within Israel's religious authorities who guarded their power and position by seeking to destroy Him. Jesus' suggestion that He had been sent by God to complete His plan for the redemption and salvation of humanity struck terror within their hearts. He warns them they have been blinded by sin that would be their downfall; they would be destroyed by dashing themselves against the very "stone" that God had sent to save them.
We should not mistake the tone of Christ's words to connote any hatred toward His persecutors; rather He was deeply distressed by their self-destructive attitudes. Knowing that Jesus is always motivated by love, His desire to save souls, we should realize that the truth can often sound harsh. Jesus was dealing with those who held Israel's spiritual life or death in their hands. Had Jesus softened His words, He would have been unfaithful to His Father, to His people and to us today.
Loving Father, open our hearts to Christ, Your living Word; draw us to repentance and lead us on the way to Your goodness and glory for the life of this world. Amen.
- Marie Bocko, OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)
Friday of the Second Week of Lent
St. Patrick, bishop
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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