Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time, July 28
May Our Life of Faith in God’s Merciful Love Guide Each of Us into Desiring and Embracing That Most Wondrous of All Gifts Offered by Our Lord – the Fullness of Eternal Life in His Heavenly Kingdom.
“Help us, O God our savior, because of the glory of your name; Deliver us and pardon our sins for your name’s sake.” – a plea for God’s mercy, a petition imploring God’s protection from evil and injustice – words which we find in today’s Responsorial Psalm, emotions which we also find in our First Reading today.
Ever since we were young children, our parents and members of our respective church communities – be they clergy, religious or lay teachers – would instruct us about God’s Home, the Kingdom of Heaven. And I am sure that each one of us created a picture of it in our minds. It probably went something like this –
– a place in the clouds all puffy and white, with a throne as brilliant as the shiniest gold we could imagine. All around the throne were angels with their wings spread wide; and on the throne was either Jesus or God the Father in all His glory, wearing a brilliant robe and a crown fit for the King of kings.
Granted, this was an image created in the mind of a child, but it was an image which we carried within us as the most special place in the entire universe, where those who were very good would go and live.
As we matured in age and in our faith, we still carried within us an image of Heaven. It may have changed over the years, but we still know it to be a place where God reigns with all His angels. And we have come to realize that it is also a gift which God freely extends to each of His children, an eternal home where – for those who have said “yes” to all that He asks of us, and who have embraced His teachings and lived a life of faith the best we can on this side of the eternal – we shall one day enjoy the fullness of His Love, together with the peace and the eternal joy which only His profound affection for us can give.
Heaven – a place where there are no tears of sadness, no suffering, no aging, no death, a place where Saint Paul tells us in his First Letter to the Corinthians, “…eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.”
And where, as Jesus tells us today, “…the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.”
But then He imparts a warning to all of His listeners, those who were standing and listening to Him speak, and also to all who would hear His words throughout all the generations that would follow, including each of us living today, “Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
I recall writing about this next item a couple of months ago, but I thought it relevant to present it once again, in light of today’s Readings –
I am sure many of us remember the frightening predictions which the media and others were spreading regarding all that would occur when we would begin living in the 21st century. First, there was the “Y2K bug” which would corrupt many software programs and cause many computer systems to crash, as the internal clocks in the computers would change over from the second millennium to the third.
There were also many evangelists who truly believed that the end was near, and that the Second Coming of Christ, or what is called the Parousia, was about to occur. And if one were to take the time and research history, the same stories about the Final Judgment spread when our civilization was progressing from the first millennium to the second.
Our computers are fine, and we are still awaiting the Second Advent of Christ in all His glory, which WILL one day occur as He promised, in the fullness of time known only to God, our Heavenly Father!
The point that I am making is this: sometimes, we can get so caught up in what is sensationalized by our media or what may also be overstated or overly dramatized by reputable people, that we begin to lose sight of what is most important.
And this is exactly what happened to the Israelites in our First Reading today. They had gotten so caught-up in the ways of the world around them that they lost sight of their spiritual roots – belief and faith in the God of their fathers who released them from the bondage of slavery and brought them out of Egypt with great signs and mighty works.
They turned their backs on the God who gave them life; and, as a result, they embraced other gods. They turned their backs on Eternal Love and embraced their love of pleasures which were offensive to Divine Love Himself.
And God is reminding us today on Who and what we are to truly stay focused – that He is the only One who can save us from our iniquities and our weaknesses, that He is the only One who can give to us the greatest gift and the most wondrous blessing that we could ever experience – the fullness of eternal life in His Heavenly Kingdom!
In this valley of tears through which you and I are now traveling, our God is a God who truly understands our trials and our difficulties in life. He is a God who is no foreigner to suffering, for He, Himself, endured the ultimate of all sufferings, when, in the Person of Jesus Christ, our Lord bore the terrible agonies of His Passion and Cross unto His own death.
But it is in His Resurrection over death which gives us our hope! It is in the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ which gives purpose to our life here on this side of Heaven!
May our life of faith in a God, who loves both you and me beyond all measure of human description or understanding, guide each of us into a deeper awareness and a greater desire to embrace that most wondrous of all gifts offered by God to all of His children, Heaven itself –
– always remembering and believing that the greatest attribute of God’s unfathomable Love for each and every one of us is His Divine Mercy, and His desire that we be one with Him for all eternity. †
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.
Scripture for the Day
- “Help us, God our savior, on account of the glory of your name. Deliver us, pardon our sins for your name’s sake.” (Psalm 79:9)
- “We recognize our wickedness, LORD, the guilt of our ancestors: we have sinned against you. Do not reject us, for your name’s sake, do not disgrace your glorious throne. Remember! Do not break your covenant with us.” (Jeremiah 14:20-21)
- “Then we, your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.” (Psalm 79:13)
- “[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
- “…eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9b)
- “The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, continuing his kindness for a thousand generations…” (Exodus 34:6b-7a)
- “Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger, abounding in mercy.” (Psalm 103:8)
- “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” (John 14:2-3)
- “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” (Revelation 21:1)
- “I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:22-23)
- “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” (Matthew 13:43)
Prayer for the Day
“Almighty and Most Merciful God,
You have renewed the face of the Earth.
Your Church throughout the world
sings You a new song,
announcing Your wonders to all.
“Through a virgin,
You have brought forth a new birth in our world;
through Your miracles, a new power;
through Your suffering, a new patience;
in Your Resurrection, a new hope;
and in Your Ascension, new majesty.
“May each of us one day share in the glory of Your Majesty
as we gaze upon the beauty of Your Face,
where we shall come to know You as You truly are:
All-Holy, All-Powerful, All-Loving, All-Merciful.
“For it is in our knowledge of Youcf. Psalm-Prayer (Roman Breviary)
which shall fill us with an indescribable
and a truly wondrous joy. Amen.”