Daily Reflection
August 25th, 1999
Joan Howard
University College
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Matthew 23:27-32

In Matthew’s gospel we listen to Jesus speaking to the scribes and Pharisees.  He is saying to them, "..you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth."  Not a pretty picture, but you know I have felt just that way.  I have felt as though I were made of plaster of paris, hollow inside with bones rattling around inside of my empty shell.  It is not a good feeling.  At these times, when I am experiencing myself at my worst I am hoping that others are not, but knowing that can not fail to see the truth.

In the responsorial psalm (psalm 139), we are encouraged by hope and trust.  Our loving God who does see us at our worst loves us always.  The human condition which can result in permanent destruction of relationships does not affect our relationship with God in the same way.  God is not put off by our humanness.  God is present with us always - in our worst moments and in our best moments.  God loves us so much and is so strongly attracted to humans that he sent his son to be fully human.  Jesus has experienced all of our fears, temptations, agonies and joys.

In the first reading of Thessalonians,  we are reminded that the goodness within us comes from God.  It is the Spirit of God moving within us that prompts us toward Love.  This is not to say that we are not good, but rather that we are human.  Alone we struggle.  Filled with Love and responding to the Spirit we are fully human with our bones attached, our eyes bright, and our hearts rich and full!  "We give thanks to God for this…God’s word which is also at work in (you) us."

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