Monday, February 28, 2011

Daniel 14:38, Sirach 17:20-24, Mark 10:17-27, Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7

Daily Mass Readings:  Sirach 17:20-24, Mark 10:17-27, Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7 

Daniel 14:38
 “You have remembered me, O God, and have not forsaken those who love you.” 

 My Beloved, You are always stooping down to me.  Your arms are ever outstretched ready to steady me should I stumble.  Ready to forgive me even before the sound of my contrition rising from my heart reaches my lips.  Your Presence is all around me.  Your awesome word encourages me and lights my path.  You are as close to me as the next breath I draw for it is Your breath I breathe that keeps me alive.  

Sirach 17:20-24
20 Their misdeeds cannot be hidden from him, all their sins are before the Lord.
22 He holds a man’s almsgiving dear as a priceless signet ring; he cherishes a good deed like the apple of his eye.
23 One day he will rise and reward them; he will place their prize on their heads.
24 He allows those who repent to return; he comforts those whose hopes are fading.

 How wonderfully comforting are Your words to me today.  It is good that my sins are always before You so I need not be afraid to confess because You already know my offenses  against You and  my neighbor.  The fact that my almsgiving pleases You is encouraging.  Grant that I may always do good so I can be the apple of Your eye.  Thank You for You promise of eternal life in You eternal embrace.

Mark 10:17-27
 17 Just as Jesus was setting out on his jour­ney again, a man ran up, knelt before him and asked, “Good Master, what must I do to have eternal life?”
18 Jesus answered, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not cheat, honor your father and mother.” 20 The man replied, “I have obeyed all these commandments since my childhood.”
21 Then Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him and he said, “For you, one thing is lacking. Go, sell what you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me.” 22 On hearing these words, his face fell and he went away sorrowful for he was a man of great wealth.
How hard for the rich to discover the kingdom!
 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were shocked at these words, but Jesus insisted, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 They were more astonished than ever and wondered, “Who, then, can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked steadily at them and said, “For humans it is impossible, but not for God; all things are possible with God.”

Beloved, detachment is necessary in order to follow You with an undivided heart.  You have taught me detachment from persons when I lost a child, detachment from things during the invasion when we had to leave everything behind and leave our home,  detachment from friendships when I thought I had lost a friendship and accepted it - You graciously restored it once I stopped clinging.  

Meditating on today's Gospel we see that the young man caught Jesus in time, he ran, he knelt before God in humility recognizing him and knowing that there is life in the hereafter.

In case the man had any self-delusions about his goodness, Jesus tells him, One alone is good and that is God.  The young man confirmed that he kept all the commandments which is truly impressive which of us can say the same?  Jesus acknowledges this and looks at him steadily and loved him.  The young man has done very well up to this point but since he was seeking more God was going to challenge him.  Sadly, he was not up to the challenge.  All that he had done in the past, good as it was, was not good enough.  Unless we are ready to be stripped of everything as You were Beloved and we are ready to immolate ourselves with You on the Cross - everything else is just OK, it is mediocre - it lacks the divine touch.

Psalm 32:1-2
Blessed is the one whose sin is forgiven,
whose iniquity is wiped away.
Blessed are those in whom the Lord sees no guilt
and in whose spirit is found no deceit.

Yes, yes and again yes!  There is true liberation when we confess our sins and experience the joy of coming home to You.  Thank You Beloved for the liberating Sacrament of Reconciliation.

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