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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

July 2 A..D. 2010

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Amos 8:4-6, 9-12
Psalm 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131
Matthew 9:9-13

A reflection on today's Scripture:

I desire mercy, not sacrifice. (Matthew 9:13)

Amos begins by speaking of the corruption in states neighboring Judah, but he saves his most severe criticism for his own nation. The foreign lands had not been given the light of God that Israel had received; therefore, the guilt of God's people was far more serious than that of those who did not have His law.

Israel's poor were most abused by being charged excessively for inferior food and merchandise. Because of this heartless greed, Amos predicted God would bring a great darkness on His nation, causing it to seek Him but still left blind to His moral teachings, a greater suffering for the want of God's word. God's discipline is hurtful but always directed at bringing about a greater good. Amos also prophesied his nation's recovery and its restoration to God's care, but he still was driven from the shrine and had a terrible sentence pronounced against him.

Christ is God's answer to humanity's moral starvation, the healer of those who are sick at heart. Jesus' approach to sinners was unlike that of the Pharisees' who hated and ostracized them. He did not wish to condemn them but to forgive and guide them to living in decency and gaining eternal salvation. Christ defended His method by telling the Pharisees that the healthy (the righteous) had no need of a doctor. Christ's latter statement had perhaps an additional implication, for He also dined often with the Pharisees. His saying that He "desired mercy, not sacrifice" applied especially to them, who made empty, sacrificial offerings for their own sins instead of truly reconciling themselves with their Creator by admitting their wrong and sincerely apologizing to extend God's loving mercy to the injured person.

O Blessed Redeemer,
You have come to show us through the cost You paid on the cross that forgiveness and merciful love are our only means of raising a fallen world. Amen.

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

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

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


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