Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
February 20, A.D. 2008
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Pray! Prayer is not only a daily expression of our relationship to God, in Lent it is a particular form of penance.
Jeremiah speaks directly to God, in today's first reading, about a form of prayer that might put us off. It is pleading for the guilty. "Remember that I stood before you, to speak in their behalf, to turn away your wrath from them." Jeremiah is well aware of the plotting against him. He knows his enemies and adversaries. Yet, he prays for them; he speaks for them to God. This form of prayer is exemplified by Abraham when he haggles with God to determine the minimum number of just men needed to save Sodom. Jesus prays, "Father, forgive them," and Stephen, his deacon and martyr, prays in the same fashion.
This is a difficult form of prayer. It requires naming the adversary and beginning to exhibit neighborly love by this intercession. This prayer is in sharp contrast to the forms of prayer where self-interests and desires creep in. It contrasts with the appeal of the mother of the sons of Zebedee, who does homage to Jesus (a seemingly worthy action) in order to ask Him for something—permanent standing for her boys.
Jeremiah is not afraid to defend himself to God and to lay out the record of good he has tried to achieve. This reminds us to approach the Lord with confidence, to do homage and to give thanks. These forms of prayer help us cultivate the right relationship with God that recognizes the Lord, Who is merciful and kind. We know that. We seek it for others as His servants in prayer.
- Fr. Stephen Gratto |
February 20, 2008
Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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