Readings for Today
While meditating upon the readings for today, the following words from scripture stood out for me:
…but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation
on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.“
If we but keep God’s commandments, not only will He be merciful to us but to our children, and our children’s children down to the thousandth generation! That is one incredible, generous flow of God’s mercy. Can you think of a better inheritance to leave those you love?
Now, concerning God’s commandments:
“You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
For the LORD will not leave unpunished
the one who takes his name in vain.
No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter,
or your male or female slave, or your beast,
or by the alien who lives with you.
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth,
the sea and all that is in them;
but on the seventh day he rested.
That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
In today’s world, it seems to me that these are two commandments that are sometimes hard for the average, “good citizen” to keep. I hear “OMG” quite often. Occasionally, in a fit of anger, I have been known to say it and have had to avail myself of the sacrament of confession. We use God’s name WAY too casually. For many, it has become a bad habit. In Old Testament days, God’s name was considered so Holy that it could not even be written – and to say it was literally unheard of! Our level of respect for God’s Holy Name has sadly plummeted. In our entertainment – television, movies, and music, His name is tossed about like an adjective and even used as a curse word. We must take a stand for God’s Holy Name! If those who love God won’t, then who will?
The sabbath being a day of rest is another commandment that used to be respected, but is now quite frequently dismissed. Who are we to decide that it is unimportant? Does not the God who made us know what is good for us? Our world of dual working parents and children being involved in a myriad of extracurricular activities has made the sabbath nearly impossible to keep as the Lord commanded – a day of rest. One day a week – Saturday – is often simply not enough to get the household chores done for dual working families. This is something that I struggle with often. Our world has squeezed out God time and rest time. We will surely reap what we sow in this country.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
A lot of people think that Catholics have too many rules – that the rules somehow steal our freedom as individuals. In fact, I find the opposite to be true. The more we honor God’s commandments and align ourselves with the teachings of the Church – The more we avail ourselves of the sacraments, the “freer” we become – the more joy we possess, the more fulfilled we are, the more peace we come to know.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
I have no words to add to this passage – I just thought, “Wow!”
But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all,
and did not need anyone to testify about human nature.
He himself understood it well.
We have a King like no other. He didn’t decide to rule from a throne off in the distance somewhere and be satisfied to be waited upon. No! He came down to earth as a baby in the humblest of circumstances. He came to experience this life as a human (though still God) and to serve. He understands our human nature because He experienced it (though without sin). There is nothing we can’t bring to Jesus! How beautiful is that?
A final note – In the gospel today, some are shocked by Jesus’ anger. How could a God who is all good show such a display of anger? God is all good, but He is also all justice. Righteous fury is being angry because of injustice. Righteous fury is being angry at blatant disrespect for God. Jesus was surely right to be furious at those who were making a mockery of God’s house.
Where is the righteous fury in our world today? We get furious about a lot of things, but do we feel righteous fury over the way that God and His commandments are dismissed? Are we righteously furious over the right things?