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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

June 20, A.D. 2008

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

2 Kings 11:1-4, 9-18, 20
Psalm 132:11, 12, 13-14, 17-18
Matthew 6:19-23

A reflection on today's Scripture:

If we recall Jesus' admonition near the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, "Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father" (Matthew 5:16)," this passage is precious indeed. For what is the treasure? It is that which is given to the Father. And what does the Father desire? That which, through discipleship, is the imitation of Christ.

Those are the good deeds. These deeds bring glory not to the one, but to the source. It is like this: a powerfully good deed is executed and an utterance is overhead, "My prayers are answered." This is the standout example. It happens in more ordinary ways. I often tell people, "Fulfill the responsibilities of your vocation." There is so much to do just staying faithful as spouse, parent, and co-worker, as priest, deacon, and religious, as member of a parish or a religious community.

We think of treasure as our merits. But we know it is the victory of Christ that is the source of our freedom and hope. It is our deeds that bring something to the throne, as the bread and wine are brought to the altar to be lifted up to the Father. Bringing forth our good deeds allows the Holy Spirit to work with us to be like Christ.

It is not hard to appreciate the familiar interpretation that earthly treasure will rust and decay, and can be stolen or destroyed. Jesus makes that perfectly clear. It is harder to examine the way of one's life to ascertain how much is the earthly treasure drawing me and debilitating the ability to generate the spiritual treasure. If the image of the vine and the branches is brought to bear on this teaching, the branch well nourished in Christ bears good fruit and the father, the vinedresser, is pleased.

- Fr. Stephen Gratto |
email: smartins(at)frontiernet(dot)net

Friday, June 20, 2008
Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

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


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