Meditation for the Day

Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time, August 26

May the Holy Spirit Incline Our Hearts to His Gift of Wisdom and to His Will, So That We May Always Be Among Those Who Understand What It Truly Means to “Fear the Lord”.

“Blessed are those who fear the Lord.” – words which we just read from today’s Responsorial Psalm antiphon.

In the Old Testament, we oftentimes find the words, “fear of the Lord” – an expression which did not mean trepidation or apprehension, but rather one of awe and respect and reverence.

In the Book of Sirach, we read that “The beginning of wisdom is fear of the LORD, which is formed with the faithful in the womb.” In the Book of Proverbs, it tells us that “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning one from the snares of death.”

When we read Matthew’s Gospel for today, in which we hear our Lord’s final two “Woes”, the final two warnings against the scribes and Pharisees condemning their hypocrisy and evildoing, condemning their arrogance and deceit, we can easily discern the fact that the “fear of the Lord” was not one of their gifts, for our Lord’s condemnation of their activities only proved the absence of the Holy Spirit in their lives!

For many in today’s world cultures, “fear of the Lord” or fear of offending the Lord is not a part of their personal behavior or way of life (especially when we consider all the riots occurring on a world-wide level), just as the fear of offending the Lord was not in the thinking process and behavior of the scribes and Pharisees which we read about today.

Saint Paul, in his Second Letter to the Thessalonians, writes that, “…in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us.”

Paul and his two assistants, Silvanus and Timothy, wished to present themselves as a holy model for others to imitate, living examples of God’s Truth – a far cry removed from the examples set by the scribes and the Pharisees, a far cry different from the examples set by all who turn their backs on God’s Word and His will in today’s world!

It reminds me of what our Lord once spoke to those who were listening, “Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.”

Our psalmist tells us today, “Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.” Our own lives should be models of holiness, as Saint Paul’s was, for others to see and imitate, especially when we are trying to influence proper behavior in our children and grandchildren.

Opening our hearts to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, giving awe and reverence to the God who created us, to the God who redeems us, to the God who sanctifies us – will give us that “fear of the Lord” which will guide our daily lives along the narrow path which leads to holiness, which will guide us into a greater and more intimate communion with our Divine Savior.

Let us not be like the scribes and Pharisees which we have been reading about over the past couple days. They had shut themselves off to Heaven, and they hindered others from understanding God’s Truth – through their words and their misleading examples.

They rejected Jesus as their Messiah, because their hearts were blinded and hardened to the voice of God. Only the humble of heart can receive from God true wisdom and understanding, pardon and healing.

The Holy Spirit is always ready to renew our minds and hearts and to teach us God’s way of love and holiness. In true humility, let us ask the Holy Spirit to purify our hearts and minds, and to fill us with a fuller understanding of God’s Truth.

Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may incline our hearts to His gift of wisdom and to teach each of us His ways and His will for us, so that you and I may always be among those who understand what it truly means to “fear the Lord”

– embracing all that our Lord has taught us, always staying focused on keeping our love for God at the very core, at the very heart of our daily lives.

******************************************************************

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

  • “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, and who walk in his ways.” (Psalm 128:1)
  • “LORD, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.” (Psalm 139:1-2)
  • “The beginning of wisdom is fear of the LORD, which is formed with the faithful in the womb.” (Sirach 1:12)
  • “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning one from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27)
  • “…in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:8b-9)
  • “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 are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.” (Matthew 23:27-28)
  • “Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.” (Matthew 23:3)
  • “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)
  • “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

******************************************************************

Prayer for the Day

“Come, all you lovely things of Earth,
Which man does not cease to wonder at.
Come, adore God in your harmony,
Glorifying God’s inconceivable Mercy.

“Come, indelible beauty of all the Earth,
And, with great humility, adore your Creator,
For all things are locked in His Mercy,
With one mighty voice all things cry out;
how great is the Mercy of God.

“But above all these beauties,
A more pleasing praise to God
Is a soul innocent and filled with childlike trust,
Which, through grace, is closely bound to Him.

“O Jesus, concealed in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar,
my only Love and Mercy,
I commend to You all the needs of my body and soul.
You can help me, because You are Mercy itself.
In You lies all my hope.”

Saint Faustina (Diary, 1750)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s