Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time, August 12
As Children of God, May We No Longer Cause Jesus’ Divine Heart to Be Filled with Sorrow; But May He joyfully Reside in Each of Our Hearts, and May We Always Be One with Him.
Jesus tells us today, “…amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.”
A few years ago, my brother had called me asking for my opinion and advice about an issue which was bothering him, for it dealt with certain family issues which seemed to be eating away at the very core of his inner peace.
He said, “Eddie, I need to pick your brains about something that happened to me…” And my brother is the only one I allow to call me “Eddie”. And then he continued for almost an hour on the phone, pouring his heart out about the pain and hurt which he was feeling.
I felt for his pain, because I could understand the foundation for his anxiety and heartache. And I can also assume that many of you reading this meditation today can remember or reflect back upon a time when some family member or close friend may have hurt you deeply. And it is a hurt that does not heal quickly, for a personal hurt can cut us “deep to the bone”.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is talking about something which goes even further that just a family member or close friend hurting us. He is speaking about those members of our Christian community who have strayed from God’s Truth, members of our faith community who may no longer be practicing their faith in a way which the Church deems appropriate, members who may have distanced themselves from the teaching authority of the Church, and are creating scandal by what they say and by what they do.
And from time-to-time, we read or hear about clergy and laity who distance themselves from Catholic teaching and thinking, and their actions only serve to sadly misguide and lead others into confusion.
Jesus tells us today the hard and factual truth, “If he refuses to listen even to the Church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Just as I felt sorrow for my brother’s pain, we, too, cannot help but feel sorrow for our brothers and sisters who willfully choose to close their hearts to the Church’s constant invitation to remain reconciled to Christ through His Bride.
I can never fathom how anyone, who says they love Christ, can willfully choose to cause scandal for His Church. I can only imagine how hurt our Lord must be, over seeing His children openly and freely choosing to walk away from His Love.
And in our First Reading, we can sense the great pain and displeasure God Himself was feeling over the constant abominations and loathsome conduct His children were constantly committing. But, in the vision that Ezekiel was experiencing regarding God’s Divine Justice, we still become witness to His Divine Mercy:
“Pass through the city (through Jerusalem) and mark a ‘Thau’ on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it.” And then God says, “But do not touch any marked with the ‘Thau’.”
Thau: a Hebrew letter which was a mark roughly in the form of a cross.
And, once again, Ezekiel gives us the vision of God’s infinite Glory, and our psalmist sings a song of praise, “Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high, and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?”
“Who is like the LORD, our God?”
In spite of all the evil which exists in today’s world, in spite of all the suffering and despair which many of God’s children experience – for those of us who accept His Laws into our hearts, for those of us who willfully choose to keep Christ at the very center, the very focal point of our daily lives, then God dwells within us with His Love, and we within Him.
It is our freewill choice, it is our open acceptance of His Love which appeases God’s anger, which consoles and comforts God’s sorrowful Heart. It is our love for our Heavenly Father, it is our love for our Divine Savior, and it is our love for the very Spirit of Love Himself – which unites us and makes us one with our God.
Jesus teaches us today, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” And, truly, we can only gather together in love and faith, when our hearts are one with God and God is one with us.
I had advised my brother that one of the worst things for him to do was to brood over his pain and the injustice done to him, for such brooding can poison the mind and the heart, and make it more difficult to go directly to the person who caused the pain. I had suggested his need to address this issue directly and as soon as possible, but with humility and charity.
Reconciliation requires a humble heart, and humility is a virtue to which we must be open and accepting. Without humility, it is so difficult to be Christ-like! Without humility, it is so difficult to forgive and to, once again, love those who have offended us!
It is my prayer, and I pray also yours, that all of God’s children, no matter what their ethnic origin, no matter what their religious persuasion may be, may find that gift of humility within themselves, so as to begin to mend the many broken fences we find across this globe, so as to begin to forgive and to learn to live together in love – as we were meant to live from the very beginning.
So that as a singular people – all of us as children of God – we may no longer cause Jesus’ Divine Heart to be filled with sorrow. But rather, with Infinite Love and Divine Happiness, may our Lord and Savior joyfully reside within each of our hearts, always remembering His promise to us which we read today –
“…amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
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
- “Who is like the LORD, our God, enthroned on high, looking down on heaven and earth? He raises the needy from the dust, lifts the poor from the ash heap.” (Psalm 113:5-7)
- “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’” (Matthew 18:15-16; cf. Deuteronomy 19:15b)
- “If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:17-18)
- “…amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:19-20)
- “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God.’” (Revelation 21:3)
- “But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)
- “And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Prayer for the Day
“Faithful and Merciful Lord,
You suffered and endured death for me;
You have consummated the debt of my sins;
Your sacrifice of forgiveness was absolute!
“Grant me the strength to also forgive others,
to excuse their transgressions against me.
So that I may truly reflect this spiritual fruit,
assist me in obliterating any persistent feelings of malice.
“Let each trespass end as a closing chapter in my life,
as I continue on the path to righteousness.
Forgive my sins as I aspire to forgive others;
as I receive Mercy from You, help me to show mercy to others.
“You are truly the Supreme Model of forgiveness,
for it is in Your Holy Cross that we are pardoned.
Grant me the grace to always imitate You in my life,
for You are truly a Most Faithful and Merciful Lord.
“It is in You alone that I wish to be united with Your Love.Anonymous
It is in You alone that I desire to be one for all eternity.”