Meditation for the Day

Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time August 25

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”.

“You have searched me and you know me, Lord.” – words which we just read from today’s Responsorial Psalm antiphon.

How does God search us? How does He know us? What does He see when He looks at us? Does He see someone who loves and reverences Him as a child would a loving father, or does He see someone whose heart is cold and lifeless, someone who only lives for him or herself first and others last?

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, 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 First Letter to the Thessalonians, writes that, “Working night and day in order not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God. You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers. As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children.”

Paul and his two assistants, Silvanus and Timothy, wished to present themselves as true witnesses and loving teachers, 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 our Responsorial Psalm for today, we read, “You have searched me and you know me, Lord.” Does God find within us someone who exemplifies what a Christian should be? 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 redeemed 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 who we have been reading about over the past couple days. They had shut themselves off to Heaven, and, through their words and their misleading examples, they hindered others from understanding God’s Truth.

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.

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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

  • “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 beginning of wisdom is fear of the LORD, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)
  • “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning one from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27)
  • “Working night and day in order not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God. You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers. As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children.” (1 Thessalonians 2:9b-11)
  • “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)
  • “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)

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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)

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