Thursday, October 3, 2019

Thursday of the Twenty-Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 7:44-48
Mass: Neh 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12; Resp Ps 19; Lk 10:1-12

The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.

In the wake of Pope Francis's Apostolic Letter proclaiming the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time "devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God", we have one of my favorite passages of the Old Testament from the Book of the Prophet Nehemiah. In the account, we have the "men, women, and those children old enough to understand" gathering to celebrate the reconstruction of the Temple and the return of the Jewish people from exile. Please, take some time to read and reflect upon it (Neh 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12). My focus is particularly on the awe and reverence shown by those gathered.

Ezra the scribe was called upon to bring forth the book of the law of Moses which the Lord prescribed for Israel, then read from it. How did the people respond? Those gathered listened attentively to the book of the law. When Ezra stood on a platform and opened the scroll for the people to see, all the people rose. When Ezra blessed the Lord and all the people, the people raised their hands and answered "Amen, amen!" Then they bowed down and prostrated themselves before the Lord!

In his homily this morning, Pope Francis asked the Church to consider how "for decades this had not happened. It is the encounter of the people with their God, the encounter of the people with the Word of God." It might be said that the people had been deprived of encounter with the Word of God. And they responded to this renewed encounter with awe and reverence. We might ask ourselves the questions the Holy Father posed in his homily: "When we hear the Word of God, what happens in my heart? Do I pay attention to the Word of God? Do I let it touch my heart, or do I stand there staring at the ceiling thinking of other things, and the word goes in one ear and out the other, and does not reach the heart? How do I listen to the Word of God? Or do I simply not listen? How do I encounter the Lord in His Word, which is the Bible? Am I convinced that the joy of the Lord is my strength?"

(Neh 8:10)

(Responsorial Psalm 19)

On the subject of awe and reverence, the following is a selection from the Meditation of the Day for yesterday when we celebrated the Holy Guardian Angels, Magnificat, October 2019:

We should imitate our good Guardian Angel: in church, his profound worship before the Tabernacle; in prayer, his recollection and his piety; in our affairs, his union with God; in our temptations, his glorious battles against the devil; in the practice of charity, his patience in bearing mistakes and defects of his neighbor, his gentleness, his generosity, his assistance; in short, his conformity to God's good pleasure in all things, the uprightness of his intentions and his pure and innocent life.
(Blessed Clelia Merloni, 1861-1930)

Today's photo: Chantarelles from our property.

© Gertrude Feick 2019

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