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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

August 26, A.D. 2008

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a, 14-17
Psalm 96:10, 11-12, 13
Matthew 23:23-26

A reflection on today's Scripture:

Woe to you . . . who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel. . . .

This is one of the hard words of Jesus, and one that is so necessary for our times. Sometimes we are a hard people, judging and harsh. Everyone's sin is more serious than my sin. My neighbor who parks at the foot of my driveway is a bad person, but I, who let my newspaper blow all over the neighborhood, have no culpability because I go to Church.

It is part of being human to make distinctions. Many times people try to feel good by seeing the bad in others and claiming to rise above it. But none of us rises above what we are through our own efforts. Indeed, the greatest saints were constantly aware of how much they fell short of the glory they were called to.

So, rather than attending to the letter of the law, let us look at its spirit. How do we benefit if we meticulously attend every mass and every hour of prayer, but then curse the people in the parking lot who slow our departure? How are we better if we sing novenas all the day long, but speak harshly to our children and loved ones? This is the life of the pharisee—the life of one who observes all that is right and proper, but who does not have a heart that celebrates God's love.

So, let us not worry about straining out gnats. Rather, let us each be able to show an open hand, an open heart, and open arms to neighbors and strangers who irk us. May we all learn to be clear signs of God's pervasive love in the world and may each of us learn to abandon his or her scruples and enter into the delight of the Presence. May our hearts be transformed from hearts of stone into hearts of flesh that beat with the beat of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

- JuandelaCruz |
email: sriddle415(at)yahoo(dot)com

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

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


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