Meditation for the Day

Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time, August 5

May We Always Look at Life as a Most Precious Gift from God; And with This Gift, He Has Also Given Us a Part of Himself, an Immortal Soul to Share in the Eternal Life Which Is God’s Greatest Gift and Personal Invitation to Each of Us.

“…his heart was moved with pity for them” – words which expressed our Lord’s feelings in today’s Gospel.

When we reflect upon today’s Readings, the theme of the Gospel seems, on the surface, to be diametrically and totally opposed to what we read from the Book of Numbers today, wherein the Israelites begin grumbling because they are missing the foods they enjoyed, together with all the other culinary provisions and spices to which they were accustomed while living in Egypt.

How easily and how soon they forgot the agonies and tortures to which they were subjected. It seems that the desires of the stomach spoke more loudly and were much more important than the tender care which God was showing towards His children. No wonder Scripture tells us that He “became very angry” by all their complaining.

It is so easy for each of us to be caught up in our daily lives – the routines and responsibilities which we have, whether they be personal or professional – and how they affect us and our relationships with those around us, whether they be family or friends.

There are many people today, some whom we may know personally, who find themselves unemployed, looking for work, trying to pay their bills, trying to keep food on the table for their families. And there are some who have even hit “rock bottom”, emotionally, spiritually, maybe even physically – and we find them on the street corners, or huddled in cardboard boxes or laying over street gratings, just to keep warm during the cold winter months.

They are the homeless, God’s children, whom society has labeled as indigent and destitute. In reality, they have become the invisible, for many do not wish to recognize or deal with their problems. And yet, they are someone’s sons and daughters, possibly someone’s mother or father; they are yours and my brothers and sisters – for each one of them represents the suffering Christ in today’s society.

For many of them, they have lost all hope. Faith in a merciful, compassionate God has been replaced, in most instances, with a struggle for personal survival.

And, sadly, many local governments and many private corporations – people who could truly make a real difference – have closed a blind eye, have turned a deaf ear to the plight of those less fortunate. It is as though God was speaking directly to them when we hear the song of lament from today’s psalmist in our Responsorial, “My people heard not my voice, and Israel obeyed me not.”

For we know that there are governments in Third World countries which are doing nothing to alleviate the conditions of extreme poverty and starvation, to which so many of their people have been subjected and are dying.

Our Church constantly tries to raise awareness to the many sad realities which surround us. It reaches out with God’s Truth to many of the world governments; it reaches out repeatedly through the United Nations. And yet, the Church’s words of Truth fall on so many deaf ears and closed hearts throughout the world, and peoples of various nations continue to suffer needlessly.

How often does man forget that even God has feelings? We read it today from the Book of Numbers, and we read it again in our Gospel, “When [Jesus] saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them.”

Our Lord was moved with compassion for His children – like sheep without a shepherd, longing to be cared for, longing to be nourished with words of Truth which give life, which give hope – words which fill the heart with a sustenance the likes of which they had never before experienced.

In our daily lives, do we not long for the same things? Are we that much different from the people two thousand years ago in the hunger which we share? And sometimes, we may even find ourselves no different than the people some thirty-five hundred years ago, grumbling and complaining. And in our complaints, we sometimes grieve God, just as they did.

From this point forward, may we always look at our life as a most precious gift, a gift given by the Divine Gift-giver Himself. And with this gift, He has also given us a part of Himself, an immortal soul, so that we may, one day, in the fullness of God’s time, share in the eternal life which is God’s greatest gift and personal invitation to each and every one of us.

As children of God, let us always be thankful for the fact that we are co-heirs of His Kingdom with Christ, and for the infinite and unfathomable Love which He holds in His Merciful Heart for each of us.

And may we never grieve our God through our stubbornness or closed-heartedness, but rather may we only give Him happiness through our faithfulness to His Divine will for us.

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “When Moses heard the people, family after family, crying at the entrance of their tents, so that the LORD became very angry, he was grieved. (Numbers 11:10)
  • “But my people did not listen to my words; Israel would not submit to me…O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways.” (Psalm 81:12, 14)
  • “Those who hate the LORD will try flattering him, but their fate is fixed forever. But Israel I will feed with the finest wheat, I will satisfy them with honey from the rock.” (Psalm 81:16-17)
  • “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not. In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • “At dawn let me hear of your kindness, for in you I trust. Show me the path I should walk, for to you I entrust my life.” (Psalm 143:8)
  • “When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.” (Matthew 14:14)
  • “Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over – twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.” (Matthew 14:19b-21)
  • “[The LORD] will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8b)
  • “My soul rests in God alone, from whom comes my salvation…My soul, be at rest in God alone, from whom comes my hope…Trust God at all times, O my people! Pour out your hearts to God our refuge!” (Psalm 62:2, 6, 9)
  • “Cast all your worries upon [God] because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
  • “…do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear…seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:25a, 33)
  • “So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (Matthew 6:31-32)

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Prayer for the Day

“O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness

and we feel our weakness and helplessness,

give us the sense of Your Presence,

Your Love, and Your Strength.

“Help us to have perfect trust

in Your protecting Love and strengthening Power,

so that nothing may frighten or worry us;

for, living close to You, we shall see Your hand,

Your purpose, Your will through all things.”

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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