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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

August 18, A.D. 2008

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Ezekiel 24:15-23
Deuteronomy 32:18-21
Matthew 19:16-22

A reflection on today's Scripture:

All of the Commandments I have observed. What do I still lack?
(see Matthew 19:20)

The Old Testament clearly reveals that the Israelites were chosen by God to make Him known in the world. Their land, however, was surrounded by heathens, enemy nations whose slack morals tempted God's people to imitate them. God used prophets to restore them to the true faith, but in Ezekiel's time He also saw a need to speak to them with a "rod."

Having shut God out, they rendered themselves helpless, open to invasion and some of their prominent citizens taken captive. Among them was the prophet Ezekiel who, despite enemy taunting, worked to preserve their beliefs while in exile. He paid the high cost of discipleship, hoping that one day these men would help restore their nation to God. Eventually this took place and Ezekiel earned being called "the father of Judaism."

In today's reading Ezekiel's beloved wife died, but God told him not to show any of the accepted outward signs of mourning. Instead he was to suffer a pain so inexpressible as to render him overwhelmed, in a stupor. This innocent, faithful man's condition was to show God's people that their infidelity to Him would bring them a suffering far beyond losing a loved one; they would be separating themselves from Him, the very Source of their lives.

Today's gospel reading teaches the rich young man and us that our faith in, and love for, God should vastly exceed that which we may have for anyone or anything in this world. The genuine following of God's Commandments is best seen in poor and afflicted people who retain their love and trust in God despite their sufferings. Unlike the rich young man, they are not trying to earn a high moral score or gain spiritual riches.

O Blessed Lord, may we love You in all things and above all things. May all we do and say bring Your peace into this world and help lead all people to Your heavenly joy. Amen.

- Marie Bocko, OCDS |
email: mlbocko (at) twcny (dot) rr (dot) com

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

St. Jane Frances de Chantal, religious

Lives of the saints:

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


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