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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

September 3, A.D. 2008

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Psalm 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21
Luke 4:38-44

A reflection on today's Scripture:

The Lord is our help and our shield.

Luke's story now moves from the drama of a public meeting place to the intimacy of a domestic scene. After the authority of Jesus has been revealed in the synagogue at Capernaum, Luke now takes us to the house of Peter's mother-in-law. In the previous scene Jesus liberated the demoniac by the power of His command; now he cures the sick woman by the power of His touch. There is no word uttered, no special technique employed, no dramatic response is recorded. There is however, the sensitive gesture of human touch as Jesus raises her by the hand.

With this contact, Jesus restores her to health again. All the hustle and bustle of the outside world is eliminated in the intimate silence of this domestic scene as if only Jesus and the healed woman existed at this moment. This is the unfailing response of Jesus to those who are in pain and anguish: He comes to fill the fevered place with His presence. The woman promptly repays His loving gesture by tending to His needs and ministering to those present.

As the day comes to a close, the whole town of Capernaum flock to Peter's house, bringing with them their sick and infirm. "And laying His hands on each He cured them." The crowds who came with great expectations are not disappointed: Jesus ministers to their different needs. Again it is the demons that recognise Jesus: "You are the Son of God." But Jesus rebukes them: His whole ministry of exorcism is a dramatic illustration of how Jesus attacks the power structure of evil. His announcement of the kingdom involves unrelenting opposition to the forces that threaten and destroy human life. And Luke brings to our attention that acknowledging Jesus is not sufficient: the devils do as much. Jesus desires that we demonstrate our faith in Him by the way we live our lives.

Jesus then seeks solitude in a lonely place. Here we have all the indications of the humanity of Jesus. After the previous scene of energy-sapping activity, the Healer needs private space, time to be alone, and to pray to His Father. It is an invitation to us to leave behind from time to time our feverish preoccupations and discover that in God alone are our souls at rest.

O Lord God, our Father, open our eyes to what You wish to reveal to us. Give us understanding of the sacrifice You ask of us, and the courage and faith to accept Your Will, for the love of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

- Patrick Doyle

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

St. Gregory the Great, pope and doctor of the Church

Lives of the saints:

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


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