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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

August 11, A.D. 2006

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Nahum 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7
Deuteronomy 32:35-36, 39, 41
Matthew 16:24-28

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

Good does exist in this world: we daily see many acts of generosity and love; much is sacrificed for the good of others; constant research and work are done to improve the human condition. Let us recognize, however, the Source of all this good; it is God's love that gifts us with the intellect, strength and the will needed to insure human progress.

In addition to this "good" we also see that humanity's "free will" often perverts God's intentions. Sin, rooted in pride, constantly replaces God with "self," and in separating ourselves from our Creator's love, we commit heinous crimes against Him and one another. In battlefields, businesses, industries, hospitals, research laboratories and abortion clinics we usurp God's dominion over human life, then soothe our troubled consciences, invent rationalizations for our vile actions. Such behavior devalues and victimizes the weak and helpless among us and allows us to use and eliminate them so that the lives of stronger, more perfect and valued citizens can be improved. This is humanity regressed to a purely animal state, practicing "survival of the fittest."

Christianity is an increasingly unpopular word in today's vocabulary. The entertainment media associates it with the murder of dissenters, a barricade to human progress, a destroyer of human freedom and pleasure and a mere myth. Today's Gospel illustrates why such ignorance and hatred prevail. Jesus tells us that He, the living Word of God, is love personified and the only "way" open to humanity for achieving world peace, justice, love and truth. The choice is ours but a difficult one to make because it requires self denial so that we may love one another as God loves us. This is diametrically opposed to the world's view: "Do unto others whatever is advantageous to you." God excludes no one from His kingdom; we, through self-will, self-love and selfishness exclude ourselves.

Merciful Lord, enable us to see that the fleeting delights we gain through sin will harden our hearts and render us incapable of receiving the joys of living in God's eternal love. Amen.

- Marie Bocko, OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)

Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Clare, virgin

Lives of the saints:

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


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