Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 17, A.D. 2006
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
2 John: 4-9
Psalm 119:1, 2, 10-11, 17-18
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
St. John's second letter cites a problem still afflicting Christ's Church today. Those who do not pray deeply and therefore are not attuned to the Holy Spirit invent their own doctrines more in keeping with worldly views thereby drawing many into accepting liberal, heretical beliefs. St. John advises these troubled groups to be steadfast in their faith, live the great commandment of mutual love and embrace Jesus as the Son of God who has indeed come to us in human flesh. To believe otherwise denies the seriousness of sin, dismisses Christ's sacrificial death for its remission, and leaves humanity unforgiven and dead in sin.
Over the past half century theologians and clergy have ceased mentioning hell, suggesting that negativism offended and demoralized people. They stressed instead that since God is love, hell simply does not fit into His picture. The effects of this "positive" attitude allowed many to settle comfortably in their sin, cease going to Confession and saw the Eucharistic Mass simply as a communal meal rather than a Sacrament of God's love, the sacrificial giving of Himself for His children's salvation. Unwittingly, perhaps, our religious "experts" trivialized Jesus' supreme act of self-giving love and the necessity of our dying with Him to all selfish behaviors that hinder peace and harmony between peoples.
Jesus speaks today of the "end times" when He returns to gather to Himself all who have embraced His truth and love and sincerely sought to live in and by God's grace. Those who have pursued "self" rather than God's Word will be left behind in the places of destruction as in the flood in Noah's time and the fiery end of Sodom in Lot's time. Christ excludes no one from His kingdom; we exclude ourselves by closing our hearts to Him.
Most gracious Lord, continue to pour out your love and truth upon us by doing all that will awaken our hearts and minds to You and so allow you to become our all in all. Amen.
- Marie Bocko, OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)
The Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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