Meditation for the Day

Tuesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time, August 27

The Very Essence of Our Faith Which We Are Called to Live Each Day Is to Emulate God’s Love, a Selfless Giving of Ourselves for the Good of Others.

“O LORD, you have probed me and you know me” – words which we just read from today’s Responsorial Psalm.

I have three grandchildren who live with us; and, a few years ago, I remember noticing one of the sixteen-year-old twins, when she was much younger, pretending she was an adult shaving her legs. I began chuckling to myself, and asked her not to grow up too fast, and that she should enjoy being a child, for it is an age which is so fleeting and goes by far too fast.

I know that I have mentioned this before, but the innocence and purity of childhood is something at which we can all marvel, for it is a time in most people’s lives when they haven’t given much thought as to what their future holds for them, for it is normally a carefree and joyous time.

And then our children begin to grow, and they begin to notice and realize that the carefree attitude they once enjoyed belongs to the past. As they grow, their expectations start to change, for they begin to realize and sadly understand that the world of reality, in which they begin to find themselves, begins to slowly silence or erode the world of youthful fantasy which once filled them with such wonder and joy.

And the same can be said for our journey of faith. As children, we are like the Thessalonians to whom Paul was writing in today’s First Reading. Theirs was a faith newly born, a faith freely embraced, for it was a faith which offered hope – a faith filled with love.

When we received our first lessons teaching us of the gift which God freely gave to each of us, I am sure that we must have been just as wide-eyed with amazement and awe, as my grandchildren were when they first learned about the wonders of God and the splendor of His Eternal Home.

The first time we, ourselves, learned about the marvels and beauty of our faith must have seemed like a fantasy to our young minds as well!

But time never slows down or waits for anyone. We all grow up, and the magnificent wonders of the faith we were taught, and in which we were confirmed, seem to be, in many cases less important – for the attractions and enticements of the material world which constantly surrounds us begin to drown out the voices of spirituality and reason within us.

The innocence of our youth begins to give way to the seductions of secularism and worldly pleasures, and many no longer hear the voice of God in their lives. And it was for these very reasons that Christ rebuked the scribes and Pharisees in today’s Gospel!

But even in the midst of His rebuke, our Lord teaches each of us what we must do to once again hear the voice of the Eternal guiding us on our life’s journey, “…cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”

What is truly in one’s heart is far more important than the words we speak or the examples we set. Our Lord, today, was exposing the hypocrisy which filled the hearts and souls of the Jewish leaders. And through their hypocrisy, they failed to truly live what God expected of them – “judgment and mercy and fidelity.” They failed in their ability to lead God’s children into a closer and more intimate relationship with the God of their fathers.

Our psalmist teaches us today, “O LORD, you have probed me and you know me; you know when I sit and when I stand; you understand my thoughts from afar. My journeys and my rest you scrutinize, with all my ways you are familiar.”

God sees into the heart of each one of His children, and He knows us better than we know ourselves. We may no longer be like the innocent children we once were, and my granddaughter no longer experiences the innocent fantasies which she once enjoyed – but we do know what our faith teaches us, and we are aware of what God is expecting from each of us.

We have come to know and understand that our God is a God of Love, and everything He does flows from His Love for you and me! And the very essence of our faith which you and I are called to live each day is to emulate His Love – through our love of God and love of neighbor.

A truly Christ-like love is unconditional, for it is a selfless giving of oneself for the good of others. When we look at ourselves in a mirror, do we see ourselves as hypocrites, not unlike the scribes and Pharisees in today’s Gospel? Or do we, as faithful Christians, allow the Love of God to truly transform our lives, so that our reflection emulates the beauty which is Christ?

Since God knows the state of our hearts better than we, let us pray for the grace to be like children – innocent, pure and joyful, with a selfless love for each other, always open to the wonders of God’s Love, always open to the marvels of the eternal gift which awaits each of us in the wonder of the life that is yet to come!

And let us live the words our Lord gives us today, “…cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”

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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

  • “If then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins…” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
  • “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.” (Matthew 23:25-26)
  • “[You] have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity.” (Matthew 23:23c)
  • “LORD, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar. You sift through my travels and my rest; with all my ways you are familiar.” (Psalm 139:1-3)
  • “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
  • “So now, O children, listen to me; instruction and wisdom do not reject! Happy the man who obeys me, and happy those who keep my ways.” (Proverbs 8:32-33)
  • “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
  • “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.” (1 John 4:11)
  • “Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

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Prayer for the Day

“Eternal and Most Loving Father,

I submit my entire self to Your holy will.

All that I am today, transform me into Your servant;

living Your Truth amongst my brothers and sisters.

“Thank You for imbuing me with Your Holy Spirit,

who guides me to live a life of righteousness,

enabling me to be all that You desire me to be,

so that I may give my best in service to Your children.

“Forgive me for my past failures,

rejecting the image of Christ in those around me.

In selfishness, I held back Your Love

and fell short in living the virtue of charity.

“Fill my heart with humility,

so that I may always fulfill Your will,

imitating the life of Your Son, Jesus,

giving love without counting the cost.

“In Jesus’ Name, I pray for this grace,

for the glory of Your Divine Majesty,

in the Presence of the Holy Spirit,

and for the well-being of my soul for all eternity. Amen.”

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