Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus confronts the Pharisees with God’s own perspective on what is needed to receive grace and salvation.  The people demanded a temple in which to perform their liturgies and sacrifices – this was not God’s demand.  God had something else in mind, but in His Providence He made provision for what the people thought they needed to render God fitting worship.  “Will you build me a house?”  The Law was given for instruction – it was never intended to be used against man.  It was given so that he might see clearly the burden he carries – his sin, his mortality, his essential solitude before the Judge of all.  It was given to make clear to man the difference between the ways of eternal life and death.  The Law was never intended to become a refuge for the perfect, the proud, the strong, as a weapon of subjugation to be used against the weak and broken. read more

Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

The Lord has given us words.  These words lead us back to His presence, to the truth about Him, and why we are here.  The words of revelation have an incredible power to bring us back to the path of truth and salvation.  To follow where the words lead us force us to let go of the thoughts, practices, or words that are incompatible but have become part of our way of life.  In all of this, in the pain of our conscience, the guilt and the shame, God reaches out gently and lovingly.  His words purify, clarify, and give us the space to respond freely.  Our response to these words is an act both inspired by and carried by grace.  Grace allows the disciples of Christ to respond humbly and confidently in times of persecution.  Those who are concerned about preserving their human and earthly life at all costs, who see death as the ultimate evil, are unable to cooperate with the consoling grace of God. read more

Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Apostles are sent to bring peace.  Peace only finds a place in a home where people who are truly listening dwell.  Who is worthy of peace?  Who is worthy of the Gospel?  The one who receives humbly whoever the Lord sends them.  The attitude of a humble servant who is able to listen and learn from the messengers of God will earn him also the gift of peace.  We don’t need to be overly worried or prepared ahead of time if we rely on God’s Providence.  Prudence requires us to think ahead, but never so well and so far that God would only be getting in the way.  Coming to rely fully on God’s Providence will increase within us the gift of sacred peace.  The world cannot give this peace, because the world only produces an incomplete and superficial version.  The peace of the world is the calm between storms; the peace of Christ is given in the midst of storms: His Providence will only be made more perfect by the storm. read more

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