Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
July 8, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 or 10:1-9
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Last weekend's celebrations of our beginnings as a nation that offers hope and haven to refugees, were also a bitter reminder that our borders now treat the stranger with hostility rather than hospitality. The torch of Lady Liberty in New York harbor is as much a warning fire as it is a beacon of hope.
The number of displaced peoples in the world now numbers close to 20 million. Why? Because of race and class struggles, terrorism, and the pernicious belief that violence can only be cured by counter-violence. Is there any hope for peace?
The Scripture readings for this Sunday offer food for reflection, and God's recipe for peace. Beginning with Isaiah, we hear that the Lord offers a future of peace and prosperity to Israel following the Babylonian captivity. "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort."
In the Gospel, Jesus and His apostles, and his 72 disciples, are on the way to Jerusalem to fulfill this ancient prophecy. In every village and hamlet, they preach the Good News, heal the sick and drive out demons. Jesus has instructed them to travel very light, relying on the common people to feed and protect them (they are not to take staff or traveling bag).
Unfortunately, Jerusalem rejects the message, puts the Son of God to death, and seals its own fate, not the peace of Jerusalem, but its eventual destruction in the year 70! No wonder that when Jesus arrives, He wept over the city's rejection, again using the image of God as tenderhearted mother.
Our late Holy Father, John Paul II, reminded us that peace begins in the human heart. Peace will only come from those whose hearts are filled with God's love and obedience to His plan for the world. At the same time, St. Paul reminds us in the second reading, that the disciple must be prepared for rejection, bearing the marks of the Cross in his or her own body.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(pwhitmore29 at yahoo dot com)
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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