Meditation for the Day

Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, February 3

With a Truly Humble and Contrite Heart, May We Never Fail to Seek God’s Forgiveness for Those Times in Which We Have Sinned Against His Love.

“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” – words which we hear our Lord speaking to us in today’s Gospel.

Throughout the course of my own lifetime, and in the many different ministries in which I have been involved, there have been several instances in which various people, at one time or another, would approach and ask me for spiritual or moral advice, especially as to what our faith requires of us.

And no matter how pastorally I would approach their questions or concerns, many did not like to hear the Church’s teachings, especially when the teachings contradicted their own way of thinking or personal convictions. I guess they assumed I would alter God’s Truth to address their issues in a way that would be pleasing or acceptable to them.

When I began to prepare this meditation on today’s Scripture Readings, the experience which Jesus had with those in the synagogue, and the advice given to the early Christians in our First Reading, reminded me of all those whose behavior is closed to or uncomfortable with the Divine will in their lives.

We read from the Letter to the Hebrews, “My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges. Endure your trials as ‘discipline.’”

And what person is comfortable with discipline? Yet, it takes humility to be open to correction; and it takes a receptive heart to learn from our mistakes. But when pride sets in, the heart is closed and a false sense of self-importance and arrogance become our masters.

So, too, were the hearts of those in the synagogue closed to the Divine Light which stood in their very midst. Their own ego and their own arrogance led to their spiritual blindness, and they were representative of many whose hearts would not and could not accept the fact that an itinerant preacher from Nazareth could be more than just a carpenter.

Mark could say here what John says early in the first chapter of his Gospel, “He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God.”

In the world in which we live today, it seems that spiritual blindness is all around us! It is a blindness which results from presumption, arrogance and pride.

St. Thomas Aquinas once wrote in his great work Summa Theologica that “…the cause of spiritual blindness is said to be the malice of man, for according to the Book of Wisdom, it states ‘For their own malice blinded them,’ and again, according to St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, ‘The god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers.’”

Throughout the early centuries in which our Church was developing, especially when it was under persecution by various Roman emperors, there were many martyrs who gave their lives rather than refusing to renounce their faith – because their eyes, hearts and souls were opened to the words of Truth which Christ taught.

These early Christians did not suffer from the spiritual blindness which many people in Jesus’ day suffered, nor from the spiritual blindness with which many suffer today.

Being self-centered when it comes to constructive discipline, being filled with arrogance as were those who sat and listened to Jesus in the synagogue – causes us to sever our relationship with God, a relationship which should be built upon love, humility, meekness and obedience.

With an open and receptive heart, the advice we find in our First Reading should cause us to reflect upon our own personal behavior – “So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.”

With a truly humble and contrite heart, may each of us acknowledge our own faults during those times which, in our human weakness, we, too, have sinned against God’s Love.

And may we never fail to seek His forgiveness, for the most wondrous attribute of God’s Infinite Love is His unfathomable and limitless Mercy, which He desires to bestow upon each and every one of His children who humbly seeks it.

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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

  • “Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.’(Mark 6:4)
  • “He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God” (John 1:11-12a)
  • “Their wickedness blinded them, and they did not know the hidden counsels of God.” (Wisdom 2:21b-22a)
  • “…the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
  • “‘My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.’ Endure your trials as ‘discipline.’” (Hebrews 12:5b-7a; cf. Proverbs 3:11-12)
  • “Then I declared my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide. I said, ‘I confess my transgression to the LORD,’ and you took away the guilt of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)
  • “So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.” (Hebrews 12:12-13)
  • “My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” (Psalm 51:19)
  • “For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned.” (Romans 12:3)
  • “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)
  • “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he shows sinners the way, He guides the humble to righteousness, he teaches the humble his way.” (Psalm 25:8-9)
  • “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

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Prayer for the Day

“God, our Heavenly Father,
look upon me and hear my prayer
as I walk through Your gift of life.

“By the good works You inspire within me,
help me to discipline my body
and be renewed in heart, mind and soul.

“Without You, Lord, I can do nothing.
By Your Spirit, help me to know what is right
and to be eager in fulfilling Your will.

“Teach me to find new life through penance.
Keep me from sin, and help me live
by Your Commandment of love.

“God of Love, bring me back to You.
Send Your Spirit to make me strong
in faith and active in good works.

“May my acts of penance bring me Your forgiveness,
open my heart to Your Love,
and prepare me for the life to come. Amen.”

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