Daily Reflection for Thursday, September 30, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Nehemiah 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12
Responsorial: Psalm 19:8-11
Gospel: Luke 10:1-12
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD is your strength! Nehemiah 8:10b
The setting for today’s first reading is an assembly of Israel’s exiles who have returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls and the temple. This reading of the Law is the first they have heard since before being carried away captive to Babylon. They are overcome with sadness when they realize how disobedient they have been to God’s law. They are told not to be sad but to rejoice because now having learned their lesson and heard the law, they can make a fresh start.
When I was a child, my mother would sometimes leave my little sister and me home alone for an hour or two while she rode the bus downtown to pay a utility bill. There were rules that accompanied this activity. We were to keep the doors locked. We were not to answer the door if someone knocked. We were not to answer the telephone and we were given a verbal list of things we could do. We were not to do anything that was not on the list. Above all else, we were not to meddle with anything on my parent’s desk in the hallway by the front door.
There were lots of interesting things on that desk. When I was certain my mother had caught the bus, I turned my attention to those interesting things. Unlike the returning exiles, I was aware of the law (no meddling). Nevertheless, I started playing with a stapler. The next thing I knew there was a staple protruding from one of my fingers. It hurt like the dickens, and it was in too deep for me to pull it out. I imagined with vivid clarity what would happen to me when my mother returned home. My parents did not believe in sparing the rod.
Things didn’t turn out the way I expected. My mother had to use a pair of pliers and a lot of strength to get that staple out. There was a lot of pain and a lot of blood. She administered first aid but beyond that she didn’t say or do anything about my transgression. Though I had been disobedient, she knew I learned the lesson: no meddling.
Sometimes when we mess up, we suffer unpleasant consequences. But through all our trials, we are God’s children. In all that he does and in all that he allows, his goal is to conform us to the image of his Son. Let us rejoice in that knowledge and recognize that the Lord is our strength.
Peace be with you dear friends.