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

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

July 16 A..D. 2010

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7, 8
Isaiah 38:10, 11, 12abcd, 16
Matthew 12:1-8

A reflection on today's Scripture:

For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath. (Matthew 12:8)

Our recent Scripture selections have dealt with God's saving work in Israel on the national level to fulfill His concern that they live collectively within His law to form a country based on justice and peace. Today's readings reveal that God's relationship with His people is also focused on their individual needs and problems. Although abiding in His laws is necessary to assuring a nation's order, God's mercy and compassion, born of His love, enter into the interpretation of His law in keeping with the situation and the desired results.

When King Hezekiah became ill and Isaiah prophesied it would end in death, he was deeply stricken and tearfully approached God in prayer to remind Him of his being faithful to His Word. Seeing Hezekiah's strong desire to live, God granted him fifteen more years of life during which He would rescue their city from the Assyrian invaders. When Hezekiah asked God to give him a sign this would truly happen, God caused the sun to move backward to cast its earlier shadows.

On a sabbath, Christ's hungry disciples entered a field to pick and eat some heads of grain, causing the ever-present Pharisees to accuse them of breaking the sabbath law by doing work, reaping to get their food. Jesus defends their actions by citing David's hungry men eating the temple bread reserved for the priests. He also tells them that their priests also break the sabbath when they serve in the Temple.

Jesus then asserts His divine authority over the sabbath law and again tells the Pharisees He wants "mercy not sacrifice." Jesus is referring to the custom of making sacrifices which can become empty acts done to simply create an appearance. He is telling us that the law should be applied with "mercy," meaning that it must also reflect God's love, the spirit of His Law. The Law is meant not to punish but to prevent man's self-inflicted injuries.

O Loving Father,
draw us from death to life by keeping us alive in Christ Jesus, true to His teachings and always eager to serve Him in faith, hope and love.

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

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Lives of the saints:

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


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