Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
Februrary 17 A.D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10
Psalm 29:1a and 2, 3ac-4, 3b and 9c-10
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Because Jesus wants us to experience freedom and true joy, He advises us, in today's gospel, of some hazards along the way. "Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod."
The leaven of the Pharisees is that human inclination to reduce the awesome mystery of God's love to self-righteousness when we observe the law. This leaven works quietly in our lives, suggesting in subtle ways that God owes us love because we strive to keep the commandments. Such a mentality quickly becomes turned into another poison: judging others by how well they observe the law.
This leaven destroys the spiritual life quickly. When peace leaves the soul from this leaven, all that remains is an angry contempt for others and a soul-sick dissatisfaction with the self.
The leaven of Herod is also dangerous to our faith. Herod's preoccupation was with security and pleasure. His idols were physical comfort and protection from danger. How fruitless and cruel can be the life that is dedicated to the fulfillment of worldly comfort. One never achieves satisfaction because the quenching of our appetites is always beyond our reach.
The alternative to the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod is a life that is surrendered daily to Jesus. Only the Lord can rescue us from subtle dangers which can rise up within us and make rancid our quest for fuller life.
Today, can I surrender to the Lord and ask Him to Captain my ship through the storms of life?
- Fr. Patrick Ryan, MM |
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
[Seven Founders of the Order of Servites, religious]
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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