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Browsing Reflections Archive

December 29, 2021

Daily Reflection for Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 John 2:3-11
Responsorial: Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 5b-6
Gospel: Luke 2:22-35

Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings:
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light 1 John 2: 3-4, 9-10.

How can I be sure? Sometimes, I have doubts about whether I am really the “follower of Jesus” I like to think I am and I tell others I try to be.  Often, I miss the mark, sway from the truth, and the light. Not like Jesus, who always loved.

Today’s reading from 1 John tells me, and all of us, us that we can be sure we know God when we keep his commandments.  Then John goes on to remind us that in addition to the “Greatest Commandment” to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind, I need to love my neighbor as myself. (Matthew 22:37-39).

This is “The New Commandment” of Jesus—love one another (John 15:17).

I recently read the book, Disarming Scripture: Cherry-Picking Liberals, Violence-Loving Conservatives, and Why We All Need to Learn to Read the Bible Like Jesus Did, by Derek Flood.   Flood writes about reading scripture with “faithful questioning” rather than “unquestioning obedience.”  For example, Leviticus 19:20 tells us not to get tattoos.  Are tattoos sinful? A horribly gruesome example might be Psalm 137:9, “Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock.” Does anyone believe God wants us to slaughter children?

However, from Jesus, we learn faithful questioning: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies…that you may be children of your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:43-45a).

Derek Flood tells us in Disarming Scripture that in deciphering scripture, we should do so seeking love, for God is love (1 John 4:8).  Scripture can be viewed as God’s love letter to us.  Look for and find the love in it.

“Once we are awakened to love as the lifelong purpose of our hearts, then feeling love for all the world becomes the meaning—and greatest joy—of living.” Wonderful words by David Richo, The Sacred Heart of the World: Restoring Mystical Devotion to Our Spiritual Life, as quoted in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation for Friday, December 17, 2021.

How can I be sure? Look to love. That is where we find God.

Peace and blessings,
Al Mytty


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