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Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

December 11 A..D. 2009

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Isaiah 48:17-19
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Matthew 11:16-19

A reflection on today's Scripture:

The Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin. (see Psalm 1:6)

In our first reading Isaiah exhorts the returned exiles to resume practicing their God-given moral code, the Commandments that their captives had ridiculed. He also tells them God's promise that if they followed His way, they would prosper and be totally vindicated in their enemy's eyes. In addition, their descendants, God's redeemed, would grow as numerous as the grains of sand and each of their names known by Him. Psalm 1 emphasizes this same message that God's faithful will flourish, but the wicked will be driven away like chaff in the wind.

In contrast to the "good" that comes to those living in obedience to God, today's gospel reveals that Israel's religious authorities planned to destroy the idea that John the Baptist and Jesus Christ were sent by God. They also refused to believe that John and Jesus, as the scripture predicted through the early prophets, had come to announce and bring to fruition God's redemption of His people: the forgiveness of their sins; their learning to live in His holiness; their bringing His salvation message to the world, and so offering all humanity the joy of eternal life.

Rather than seeing God's plan for their nation as the vehicle through which the entire world could be blessed, some prominent Pharisees and Scribes only worried about John's and Christ's popularity and the challenge they presented to their authority. Their sin-clouded minds attacked the men's moral characters by saying that John's asceticism was a sign of his being possessed by a demon, and Christ's accepting dinner invitations from them, and also those known as sinners, proved Him to be a drunkard and a glutton. It appears to this day that this devious method of mudslinging has not lost its usefulness or its popularity.

O Father God,
create in us a clear and strong moral integrity that prevents our judging people's behavior. Teach us to see others in the context of Your pure love. Amen.

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

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday of the Second Week of Advent

St. Damasus I, pope

Lives of the saints:

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


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