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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

January 15 A.D. 2009

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Hebrews 3:7-14
Psalm 95:6-7c, 8-9, 10-11
Mark 1:40-45

A reflection on today's Scripture:

Can you stencil a mug? Or do calligraphy?

Here is a short message to use: “Take care that none of you have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God.” The writer of the Hebrews is very direct.

Then, there is a message about how to ward off evil and infidelity: “Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin. We can read “today” as this time within which we live. It will be followed by another day, “the day of the Lord" and we want to be ready for that day. Time is given now to do the preparation.

Encourage yourselves. If anyone tries to walk alone, it is lonely and uncertain. It can be characterized by sullenness and withdrawal. Or, as suggested in today’s lesson, it can contribute to the hardness of heart that follows developing a thick skin.

Encourage yourselves is an appeal for our participation with the Body of Christ. In this way we are partners with Christ. The beginning for each of us was Baptism. Hold firm to that identity and we exhibit some of the identity of Christ, especially as He is priest, prophet and king. Our most attractive exhibition of identity is usually through service.

Encourage yourselves while it is still “today.” The darkness of sin is overcome by the light of Christ in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A heart that receives God’s mercy is less likely to grow hardened. Prayer with others, as well as in private prayer, an encouragement to each other and Christ becomes present.

The power of liturgical prayer is that it joins us to the whole Body of Christ, the Church at prayer. A routine of participation with others at a local religious house as an oblate, associate or auxiliary volunteer, at the parish and through its forms of ministry and service, or with a lay association are all ways to be encouraged.

In the world, think of how you can encourage others, at work or school, with a greeting, inviting a new colleague to lunch, stopping by to see a homebound person, or attending a wake or a funeral. Once in a while go to a different Mass at your parish and meet the other people!

Think of the leper in the gospel. Once he found his act of faith in Jesus led to healing and the opportunity of a new life, he went forth with joy to encourage others.

- Rev. Stephen H. Gratto
| email: smartins@frontiernet.net

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

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


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