Daily Reflection for Thursday, September 8, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends, and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary | USCCB
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Micah 5:1-4a or Romans 8:28-30
Responsorial: Psalm 13:6
Gospel: Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23 or Matthew 1:18-23
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:29
The more years I accumulate, the older my own family gets, the more I find myself reflecting on origin and belonging. I consider the people, the places, the culture, and the myriad experiences that form the essence of who we are and influence our tendencies and abilities to make sense of the world, or at least our corner of it. The readings for today as well as the feast day of our heavenly mother Mary’s birthday certainly invite such reflection.
As a youngster, I would instantly tune out as soon as I got any sense that the genealogy of Jesus was going to be read. As an adult, I find it much easier to tune in. It fascinates me to consider all the deep rooted familial and cultural threads of Jesus’s lineage as well as His conception narrative and their role in informing Jesus’s upbringing/household.
What informs your origin story? What are the factors that contribute to your sense of belonging? Both in familial/practical ways as well as those that inform your spiritual belonging.
As Catholics, we believe God is prescient and omniscient. I accepted this when it was originally taught to me and yet recall always struggling with the juxtaposition of this tenet with the fact that God gifted us with the free will to choose our paths. I remember wondering whether it was really free-will if God knew what I was going to do/say/think before I even had a chance to act those actions out. What if, though, the passage from Romans is not suggesting God is pre-selecting specific people who accept or reject Him but rather God’s foreknowledge of those, who by their free-will, when presented with the truth of the Gospel will choose to gravitate toward it and draw near to Him? In this way, despite our origins of having been made in His image and likeness, all people are outside of Christ before choosing to belong in Christ. “And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.” (Rom 8:30)
In what ways do we demonstrate our choice to belong in Christ? In what ways do we fall short?