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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

March 21 A..D. 2009

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Hosea 6:1-6
Psalm 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21ab
Luke 18:9-14

A reflection on today's Scripture:

He who humbles himself will be exalted;
he who exalts himself will be humbled. (Luke 18:14)

Today's readings examine the nature of religious piety, the false versus the genuine. Hosea pleads with his people to return to God, for He is the source and giver of love and life, the One Who binds up our wounds inflicted by sin and raises us up to new life. Yet, despite His loving goodness, their worship is lacking substance like morning clouds dissipated by the sun. When God tells His people to love rather than sacrifice, He is saying that the sacrifices offered in the temple mean nothing if His people's faith does not show any growth in their love toward Him and one another.

Our psalm bears this out when it tells us that God also does not desire sacrifice to wipe out our offenses. Instead He calls us to develop a humble spirit, one that expresses itself in mercy and compassion toward others. The holy city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt when they genuinely practice His holiness. Otherwise the city of Jerusalem would only represent hypocrisy, their lack of faith in and love for the One true God.

In today's final reading God tells us He expects more than humility, compassion and a forgiving spirit; we should examine our hearts before Him to reveal our motivations for performing pious acts. We must not use them to build self-esteem nor to appear as paragons of holiness to others. In a sincere examination, God will reveal and cleanse us of our pride, selfishness and judgmental attitudes and free us to accept His genuine love that enables us to love others as He loves, totally and unconditionally.

O Blessed Lord, as Easter approaches give us a deeper appreciation of Your infinite humility and sacrificial, saving love. Grant us Your grace of self-denial. Amen.

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

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday of the Third Week in Lent

Lives of the saints:

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


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