Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
July 18 A..D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 136:1 and 23-24, 10-12, 13-15
A reflection on today's Scripture:
The Lord freed us from our foes. God's love endures forever. (see Psalm 136:24)
A major theme in today's readings is freedom, man's liberation from slavery, from those who prevent his using his God-given gifts that contribute to the good of all.
Exodus narrates God's use of extreme but necessary measures to free the captive Israelites from slavery in Egypt. God intended His people to create a new and holy nation, one that would bless the entire world by living in, and so bringing, God's love and truth to a humanity fallen in sin and ruled by selfishness and violence. Pharaoh's refusal to liberate the slaves brought a series of plagues upon his nation. Later, when the Israelites were fleeing, he sent his army to kill the escapees and seize their belongings. God freed His people by opening a path of dry land in the midst of the Red Sea, then drowning their pursuers by restoring the waters to their normal level.
Our gospel extends the freedom theme when Christ takes pity on a man handicapped by a withered hand. The Pharisees, always seeking ways to discredit Jesus, accused Him of breaking God's law that prohibited doing any work on a Sabbath. Our Lord showed them the error of their "man-made" law by saying that it limited God's supreme and absolute law of love; for surely, if even an animal of theirs fell into a pit on a Sabbath, they would quickly rescue it.
Since Christ refused to argue with His potentially murderous opposition, He simply left the area but was followed by many in the crowd who were seeking to be healed. Jesus predicted that though His own people had rejected Him, the Gentiles would benefit, because they would see Him as their only source of hope, the One Who would free them from their slavery to sin.
O Blessed Lord,
help us to see that our only hope for true freedom is our reliance on Your grace, to help us conquer our empty, selfish and self-seeking habits.
- Marie Bocko, OCDS
| email: mlbocko(at)twcny(dot)rr(dot)com
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Camillus de Lellis, priest
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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