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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

August 19, A.D. 2007

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
Psalm 40:2, 3, 4, 18
Hebrews 12:1-4
Luke 12:49-53

A reflection on today's Scripture:

Making a covenant with God can be very dangerous for those who break their promises.

Covenants are not for the weak-hearted, the fearful or the backsliders. Once God has accepted us as His own, He demands the best that we have. God's love is like fire, and He expects us to love in the same way. The hearts of prophets and saints were on fire with that love. Those who resist God, usually resist His messengers.

In today's First Reading, the prophet Jeremiah is ridiculed, hated, thrown first into prison, then let down a deep cistern by those who wouldn't listen to his message. They said it was "too demoralizing." King Zedekiah admires Jeremiah, but he is too weak to act on his advice. Poor Jeremiah! He is battered and beaten just for telling the truth! As a result, God threatened complete destruction of the city by fire, and eventually it happened! Throughout the ages, prophets have usually been treated that way.

In the Gospel, Jesus declares that His teachings will bring division and conflict, even within his followers' own households. The fire of God's love is meant to bring justice, but at what a price! Hearts hardened by greed and hate, or just indifference, are always intolerant of those who preach the power of God's truth. They turn the fire of God's love into the fire of a violence which will never bring peace. In the meantime, His prophets and saints continue to face rejection and even martyrdom.

The Second Reading from Hebrews, urges the early Christians—and us—to look at the "cloud of witnesses," the saints and heroes who have gone before us, for courage to remain loyal in the face of opposition. In other words, God urges us to "hang in there" ‘til the hour of heavenly reward and a final fulfillment of His plan for us.

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore --
email: pwhitmore29(at)yahoo(dot)com

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

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


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