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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

July 18, A.D. 2008

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word: Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8
Isaiah 38:10, 11, 12abcd, 16
Matthew 12:1-8

A reflection on today's Scripture:

I recently read in a local paper about a mother who appeared in a local court.

She was there to appeal for mercy. Mercy for a teenager who, driving under the influence of drugs, was responsible for the death of his best friend, her son. There was no doubt she was filled with grief, and had real anger, but she also was aware of this close friendship. She knew the court had to lay down some sentence but asked that it not be one that was so severe this boy could never contribute in society.

Maybe we all have different opinions about this. But, does not her action direct us to these words: I desire mercy, not sacrifice? (see Matthew 12:7) Yes, in this gospel, Jesus referred to innocent men, his disciples; but in other cases, such as the woman in adultery and the "good thief," we have guilty parties and yet his actions were full of mercy.

It may be that any one of us could not do as this mother did and appear in court and make this plea. But, it seems realistic to ask that the Christ-centered way lead us to soften our hearts, resolve angers and seek reconciliation wherever possible, within households, community settings, in the church, and in society.

It is tricky: to teach morals, to lead others, especially the young, to incorporate virtues into their lives, so that their behaviors are based on these habits, and to require justice—yet, to forgive. God's ways teach us how to do this: for instance, reread the Prodigal Son and the Forgiving Father, as well as the account of the woman at the well, where Jesus is a masterful instructor of conversion, drawing out of her the truth, her needs, and repentance.

Today's first reading from Isaiah (Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8) manifests God's mercy in the way in which time is turned back in Ahaz's life.

Mercy does that.

"You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die." (from today's Responsorial Prayer)

- Rev. Stephen H. Gratto []
email: smartins (at) frontiernet (dot) net

July 18, 2008

Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

St. Camillus de Lellis, priest

Lives of the saints:

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


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