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Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

December 19, A.D. 2006

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17
Luke 1:5-25

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

On you I depend from birth;
from my mother's womb you are my strength. (Psalm 71:6)

Today's readings illustrate God's ability to write "straight" with "crooked" lines; He employs sinners as well as saints to accomplish His divine purposes. Samson, consecrated to God prior to his conception, was handsome and exceedingly strong. His strength proved useful in stemming the tide of Philistine violence against Israel. Being attractive, however, fed his fatal flaw˜an inordinate desire for beautiful women; this led him to marry one of the enemy and suffer her betrayal. Later, blinded by Delilah's beauty, he was seduced into revealing the source of his strength. His "haircut" led to his capture, but while awaiting death in the Philistine temple, he prayed to God for forgiveness and the return of his strength. His prayer was heard, enabling him to pull down their temple, destroying all enemy leaders.

John the Baptist's birth was also foretold prior to his conception which took place late in Zechariah and Elizabeth's marriage. From John's earliest years, he showed exceptional qualities, causing others to wonder if he would become a powerful tool in God's hands. Contrary to Samson's fleshly weakness, John lived in prayer and self-denial. Being sensitive to and obedient to God's Spirit, he set forth to prepare the Israelites to welcome the Messiah by awakening them to their sinful state, the need for forgiveness and cleansing necessary to their receiving a new life in Christ. John's candor, his faithfulness to God's law, cost him his life when he condemned Herod's adulterous marriage. Herod, aroused by a sensual dance performed by his "wife's" daughter, promised her anything she desired. Prompted by her mother, the girl asked for John's head. Lust is a deeply destructive force.

Christ, our Light, send us prophets strengthened by our Holy Spirit who will courageously reveal the world's sinful state by speaking and living Your holy love and truth. Amen.

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

December 19, 2006

Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

Lives of the saints:

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


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