Meditation for the Day

Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time, September 23

Let Us Pray That All the Ingredients of Living Our Daily Lives be Included, So That We Will Know That Our Recipe Has Always Been Filled with That Most Essential of All Components – God’s Loving Presence.

We hear Herod asking an essential question in today’s Gospel, “Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” It is a very basic and fundamental question which each of us had also asked when we first started to learn about our faith – “Who then is this Jesus?”

In this life of faith which has developed within each one of us, I am sure that, as the end of each day approaches, many of us probably look back and take stock of what we have accomplished and what still remains undone.

And there are days at work, or at school, or even in the home when, no matter how hard we have worked, or how busy we occupy our time, we sometimes walk away feeling like we have not accomplished enough or that we have forgotten something important. And that “something” does not feel quite right. It is as though something significant is missing and we cannot quite put our finger on it.

During these times, I am sure that we feel a certain frustration, a certain emptiness or dissatisfaction that we cannot quite put into focus. It would be like a cherished recipe passed down from generation to generation. It looks the same when finished, but, when eaten, it doesn’t quite taste the same – something is missing, possibly an essential ingredient which we forgot to include.

In our First Reading today, the prophet Haggai [HAG-ay-ai] points this out to the people of Israel – that they have forgotten that most important ingredient in the recipe for happiness, for they had become too focused on themselves. They had been too busy rebuilding their homes and their city after being returned to it after a long exile in Babylon.

Haggai sees that the Temple foundation has been laid, but no further work has been done and points out that, no matter how hard the people work, they will not feel prosperity; no matter how much they eat, they will not be filled – for there is an essential ingredient missing in their daily lives, and that ingredient is the worship of God!

In a similar vein, King Herod must have felt the same way after the death of John the Baptist – in whom he was both very much perplexed and, yet, to whom he enjoyed listening. Something was not quite right. He questions his advisors regarding the identity of Jesus about whom he had been hearing stories.

That queasy feeling that God’s justice was coming for him begins growing again, and he needs to know why. He has seen John’s head on a platter and knows it’s not him – but who is it? “Who…is this about whom I hear such things?” For Herod, it is the missing ingredient in his life.

Back to our own sense that something is missing – when we find ourselves confronted with these feelings of futility or emptiness, even if we believe we have done all that we should have done in any given situation, it is likely that we have relied too heavily on our own efforts and not allowed God to be present in our thoughts and in our words and actions.

When we begin to sense that something is missing, that something is out of place or not quite right, we need to take the time to listen to that voice within us. That inner voice may be more than just our conscience speaking to us.

It may well be the whisperings of God’s voice, awakening within each one of us a need to keep ourselves focused on what truly matters in our lives – a personal and a living relationship with the Living God who created us, with the God who sacrificed Himself for you and me in the Person of His Son made flesh, and with the God who constantly enlightens and strengthens us daily, sanctifying all who live righteously – all out of Divine Love for each and every one of us.

It is only when we include this most essential ingredient in our daily thoughts and our daily activities, that we begin to truly feel complete, that we begin to truly feel contented and at peace.

Let us pray today that all the ingredients of our life be present, so that as we look back upon our accomplishments in the growth of our faith, we will know that our recipe has always been filled with that most essential of all components – God’s Loving Presence!

For you and I know what Herod did not – that this Person, whose Most Holy Name is Jesus, the Christ, the Anointed One, has proven that His Love for us is truly THE ONLY ingredient which gives our life true meaning!

It is then that our lives shall echo the words of today’s psalmist, “Let the high praises of God be in [our] throats…This is the glory of all his faithful.”

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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

  • “Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, ‘John has been raised from the dead’…But Herod said, ‘John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?’ And he kept trying to see him.” (Luke 9:7, 9)
  • “Now thus says the LORD of hosts: Reflect on your experience! You have sown much, but have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; You have drunk, but have not become intoxicated; you have clothed yourselves, but have not been warmed; And the hired worker labors for a bag full of holes.” (Haggai 1:5-6)
  • “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)
  • “All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.” (James 1:17)
  • “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
  • “I delight to do your will, my God; your law is in my inner being!” (Psalm 40:9)
  • “For whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
  • “With the praise of God in their mouths…such is the glory of all God’s faithful.” (Psalm 149:6a, 9b)
  • “…for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things are and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are and through whom we exist.” (1 Corinthians 8:6)

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Prayer for the Day

“Our Eternal and Most Loving Father in Heaven,
may everything I do begin with Your inspiration,
continue with Your saving help,
and reach perfection under Your guidance.

“With Your loving Care, guide me in my daily actions,
and help me to persevere with love and sincerity.
Teach me to judge wisely the things of Earth
and to always love the things of Heaven.

“Your Spirit instilled in my heart that I am Your child,
and I am confident to call You my Father.
Keep me in Your Presence always
and never let me be separated from You.

“Make Your Love and Mercy the foundation of my life;
teach me to long for Heaven as my eternal Home.
May its promise and hope guide my way on Earth
until I finally reach eternal life with You. Amen.”

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