Daily Reflection for Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s scripture readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Ezekiel 2:8-3:4
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131
Gospel: Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14
Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
. . . Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 8:13
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? Matthew 18:12
Jesus made his message clear: He expects us to take care of each other and work together for the betterment of all of us. He said it so many times . . . to love one another. That kind of love takes the trust of a child with the instinctive belief that others will treat us with good intentions. That kind of love understands that the compassionate “shepherd” will recognize and reach out to help someone who needs assistance.
We’ve all seen the growing pains of children who struggle between trusting their parents and also wanting a close relationship with the people who love them, versus the desire to move freely under their own power and to function independently according to their own whims. We have all experienced in our own lives, and seen it in others lives, how that independence sometimes doesn’t work out so well for the child. That’s the second part of Jesus’ message.
When the “shepherd” goes out of his way to rescue a wandering lamb, it’s to help that lamb to have the best life possible. Jesus is reminding me it is more blessed to be part of the Children of God than to go my own way, relying on myself to figure out everything according to my own terms. Self-sufficiency has its limits.
When I think about it, I realize I’ve never abandoned my dependence on the community around me:
-- My wife, family, friends and parishioners who support me and channel God’s grace to me.
-- Those who answered the call to a religious vocation and who now nourish my spiritual needs.
-- The colleagues and friends who have been catalysts for deepening my love of God’s Word.
-- The farm and factory laborers who provide so much of what I eat and need every day.
-- The public employees who keep my daily world safe, clean, and functional.
-- The health care workers who keep me healthy and, in crises, sustain or rescue me.
To deny my many dependencies is to deny my Christianity, my relationship with God, and my membership in the interdependent Body of Christ! I live with great joy because that interdependency allows me to experience that love, and then to pass it on to others in the form of a reflection, a prayer, or some other gesture of loving appreciation!
Peace, my friends, and God bless you!