Daily Reflection for Monday, July 19, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Monday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Exodus 14:5-18
Responsorial: Exodus 15:1-6
Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.” Matthew 12:38-39
In June, a humpback whale swallowed a licensed commercial lobster diver in Provincetown, Massachusetts. For 30 to 40 seconds, the man struggled in the complete darkness of the whale’s mouth before it burst to the surface and spit him out. Neither the man nor the whale was seriously injured in the incident, which is “exceedingly rare,” according to the Cape Cod Times (2021). Whale experts say there’s about a one-in-a-million chance of being swallowed by a humpback and about 20 different ways the man could have been killed during the encounter.
News outlets that generally don’t agree about anything giddily shared this story. Even skeptics couldn’t resist imagining such a terrifyingly surreal situation and living to share the miracle.
Fr. Carroll Stuhlmueller advises:
Many of us are too selective in our miracles from God. Unless we take the risk of being generous towards others, no miracle will prove anything to us. Jesus gives us the memorial sign of Jonah, who was “three days and three nights in the belly of the whale.” We, too, must risk going to the depths and being swallowed by God’s will and taken in God’s unknown direction, as happened to Jonah.
“Risky generosity” is countercultural. Our nature is to hold back and resist giving to those who might not be deserving or who might not repay the favor. This is especially true in the United States, where we value independence and self-sufficiency. I avoid “risky generosity” at home, work, and in the world, but I gratefully recall times I allowed myself to be swallowed by God’s will and moved to divine transformation.
Lord, allow us to be swept away and swallowed by your will. Help us to find peace in the dark places of uncertainty until you “spit us out,” ready to go forth and share your good news.
May God’s Peace Be with You,