Daily Reflection for Monday, July 25, 2022
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: 2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Responsorial: Psalm 126:1BC-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6
Gospel: Matthew 20:20-28
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10.
St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, and other apostles were imprisoned for their beliefs. While they were in prison, their faith and the truth gave them the strength needed to persevere. Paul wrote some of his great epistles while he was in prison.
The first reading today brings to mind the suffering and yet the hope, even joy, experienced by some of the great heroes for social justice such as Nelson Mandela, Dorothy Day, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who were imprisoned for their beliefs and actions.
Dr. King’s famous Letter from Birmingham Jail is well worth reading. At the age of 34, Dr. King wrote from his prison cell that: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” And he reminded us that justice delayed is justice denied. Dr. King refers to Jesus, St. Paul, the prophet Amos, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and others.
A few weeks ago, I was in Birmingham, AL and made a point of visiting the Birmingham jail.Dr. King along with Dr. Abernathy and others were imprisoned because they violated unjust laws.
Similarly, Paul, Peter, John, and other Apostles were imprisoned. Afflicted, but not constrained; persecuted but not abandoned.
I know numerous activists who tell of the solidarity, patience, determination, and growth in faith, that came with their time in prison. They were struck down but not destroyed. Not driven to despair. They viewed their time in prison as part of their contribution to the cause they were supporting. For some it was a time of being close to Jesus and a time to learn more self-discipline so they could serve, as Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel.
Peace and blessings,