Daily Reflection for Monday, November 28, 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: Isaiah 4:2-6
Responsorial: Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4b, 4cd-5, 6-7, 8-9
Gospel: Matthew 8:5-11
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
Because of my relatives and friends I will say, "Peace be within you!" Psalm 122:8.
For today’s readings, the Old Testament psalmist writes, “Peace be with you.” We’ve heard those words elsewhere. In chapter 20 of the New Testament Gospel of John, “Peace be with you” are the first words of Jesus to his disciples after his resurrection. Peace is so important to Jesus that he repeats “peace be with you” before he says anything else to them.
God not only wants peace, God commands it. Pope Francis has told us, “Before the danger of self-destruction, may humanity understand that the moment has come to abolish war, to erase it from human history before it erases human history!”
I chose the reading from Psalm 122 because I love the phrase “Peace be within you”, and because it’s from the Old Testament.
Recently, I was talking with a long-time very close friend, and I mentioned the famous “Greatest Commandments” scripture passages telling us to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind, and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. These greatest commandments are also mentioned in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew and Mark (22:37-39 and 12:30-3, respectively).
I mentioned to my friend that these commandments refer to Old Testament verses from Leviticus19:18 and Deuteronomy 6:4-5. My friend’s response was, “I don’t like the Old Testament because there are too many rules and way too much violence.”
The Old Testament, however, also clearly shows us God’s call for love, mercy, peace, and justice.
Author and Center for Action and Contemplation contributor Brian McLaren wrote: “I feel echoes of Isaiah, speaking of God doing a new thing…so that there will be good news for the poor, recovery of sight for the blind, freedom for the incarcerated and oppressed…I hear the prophet imagining a promised time when weapons are recycled into farm equipment because nobody studies war any more…I hear Ezekiel’s oracle about a new heart, a heart of flesh that replaces the heart of stone…I hear Amos envisioning a time when a river of justice rolls down from the heights, filling the lowest places first…I hear Micah relativizing everything in his religion except doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly before God.” Words of peace, love, and justice from the Old Testament.
The reading for today says, “Peace be within you.” Not just with you but also within you. Those words apply to every one of us. How can I be that peace and how can I help spread it to the world?
Peace be with you.