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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

August 1, A.D. 2008

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word: Jeremiah 26:1-9
Psalm 69:5, 8-10, 14
Matthew 13:54-58

A reflection on today's Scripture:

I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. These words are from the Church's marriage vows.

"Honor your father and mother," is the Fourth Commandment. Honor is more than a state of mind. It is a set of actions by which respect and esteem is communicated to someone else. The other person is to receive this honor because of who he or she is, as in the case of the spouse, or the parent (and by extension the fourth commandment calls for honor to be expressed to whoever has a legitimate authority or role in one's life). Honor recognizes that there are particular relationships formed not only by our choice, such as one with a spouse, but by the nature of community, from God's plan.

We read today that Jesus was not honored in his "native place." Rather than receiving Him with graciousness as a native of their community let alone as a prophet of God, they expressed astonishment and a hardness of heart that inhibited the work of grace. How parallel to the situation described in the reading from Jeremiah. He has proclaimed God's word and the leaders closed in on him to take him to trial (more on this in tomorrow's reading). Jeremiah was a prophet whose suffering and rejection foreshadowed what Jesus underwent. He was not honored.

A prophet was to receive honor. When the disciples are rejected in a town they are to shake off the dust and leave. They have been rejected; they have not been honored.

It is not inappropriate to test the message of the prophet or teacher or leader, or as St. John teaches to discern the spirit, when we are exposed to interpretations of the Word of God or the teachings of the Church. That is the very reason there are defined dogmas and doctrines from the Church, because they have been tested and discerned.

Just as honor is to be given by respect, obedience and esteem and for the deceased, and holy ones and ancestral groups by veneration, an individual should seek to be honorable. This means manifesting in a worthy manner the dignity that one possesses. So, having been baptized, a Christian manifests this dignity in a worthy manner.

God, as giver of the gift is honored, and honorable deeds of merit follow, to give praise to God. Of course, we know such fidelity will in fact mean that there will be rejection and forms of trial, for the servants are not greater than the Divine Master.

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

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

St. Alphonsus Liguori, bishop and doctor of the Church

Lives of the saints:

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


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