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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

August 31 A..D. 2009

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Psalm 96:1 and 3, 4-5, 11-12, 13
Luke 4:16-30

A reflection on today's Scripture:

The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me. . . . (Luke 4:18)

While the words Jesus reads from the scroll are particularly relevant for Jesus, and while they do announce the mission we are going to read more about as we continue through the gospel, these words have a special relevance for us as well.

At baptism, and again at confirmation, we are anointed, sealed with the Holy Chrism, the sign of the indwelling Holy Spirit Who makes of us a nation of priests, prophets, and kings. We don't have the special apostolic priesthood, but a more general priesthood -- the priesthood of all believers. We do not officiate at the celebrations of the Mass, but we assist. Our priesthood is not about holy orders, but it is nevertheless a powerful command to bring God to each one of His people. THAT is the priesthood of the believer, of the ordinary person.

And what should our message be?

To bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
(Luke 4: 18-19)

This is what we must do. Our mission today is the same as the mission Jesus announced at the beginning of His ministry. Jesus has no human hands now but ours, no voice to speak for Him the needed words of comfort and hope but ours. True, the Holy Spirit strives within each person and speaks within each person, but unless we are completely sealed inside ourselves, we need to hear the news and see the signs of it ourselves.

We are the ministers of that news now. We bring glad tidings to the poor when we supply food, conversation, a smile.

We liberate the captives when we listen attentively to those bound up in problems from depression to a bad marriage.

We help those who should already know and see God to see Him again.

We pray for those who are caught up in problems that are beyond our own ability to solve and we counsel them to seek help.

We tell everyone that every year is one acceptable to the Lord, that God's arms are always open, that He is always welcoming us home -- no matter how much we feel as though He should not.

That is the commission Jesus had then and which He leaves to us as His loyal and willing servants now.

~ JuandelaCruz
| email: sriddle415(at)yahoo(dot)com

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

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


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