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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

October 3, A.D. 2006

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Psalm 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8
Luke 9:51-56

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

In today’s reading from the Book of Job, Job is lamenting all the circumstances of his life. There couldn’t, it seems, be anyone unhappier. In all of this, Job utters a very interesting and descriptive phrase about his state of mind and spirit. He says, in effect, that he is like “Men whose path is hidden from them, and whom God has hemmed in.”

Reading these words might conjure up for us our own experiences of being lost and having the right path utterly hidden from us. Being “hemmed in,” by God however, might not be as familiar an experience, or perhaps we have just failed to recognize it. What then might an experience of being “hemmed in” by God resemble?

First of all, being near to the transcendent God or “hemmed in” by Him, shouldn’t be something negative unless perhaps, because of sin and our faulty perception, we can’t recognize that God’s closeness is always a good thing. Secondly, the idea of being “hemmed in” seems to connote that we are restricted and confined and have lost our “sense” of freedom: not a good thing; but remember, it is God who is “hemming us in.”

This might be a strategy of our all-knowing God, whose ways are far beyond our own. Perhaps we really need to feel constricted; otherwise we might flail around, take the wrong path and get hurt. What might seem restrictive may instead be the grace of a good conscience that doesn’t give us the license to do what others--who seem to be having fun and a good time--are doing.

In any case let us pray that we might look more carefully at our life-circumstances to see, perhaps, the hand of our loving and vigilant God. “Hemming in” after all, might be nothing other than a hug.

- Donna Nelson, OCDS
(drn3rd at hughes dot net)

Tuesday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

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


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