|Memorial of St. Benedict
Hosea 11:1, 3-4, 8-9
Psalm 80:2, 3, 15-16
Today's scriptures are an interesting mixed bag. In Hosea the Lord recalls bringing Israel out of Egypt. "The more I called them, the farther they went from me." The Lord performed miracle after miracle and the Israelites worshiped Baal. The Lord holds them in His arms with ties of love and yet they do not recognize Him. The Lord does not give vent to His anger, but shows pity and still loves Israel. The psalmist cries "let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved." In Matthew, Christ sends out the apostles. He tells them to preach the message that the kingdom is at hand, to perform miracles and to go without packing provisions. Jesus says to enter a town and look for a worthy person and stay at their house. Christ also says that if they do not welcome you or do not listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet and leave. That town is in big trouble.
Today's scriptures took me quite a while, but some things finally jumped out at me. One of the things is why it took me so long to see what today's scriptures have to offer. I like to exercise. I jog or lift weights several times a week. Some days I feel like I could run forever or lift 1000 pounds. Some days I feel like I'm going to croak just putting on my tennis shoes. I've found two common denominators to this feeling. Frequency and diet. If I skip exercise for a few weeks it is very difficult to get back into it. If all I have time for is twinkies and pop, I'm not going to run very far. My spiritual fitness is similar to my physical fitness. If I don't take time for daily prayer or reading scripture, how can I expect to open the Bible and have it speak to me. Jesus is the bread of life and the source of my daily strength. If I ignore Him, how can I expect to cope with life's problems, let alone recognize guidance from the Holy Spirit. At times, I'm just like the Israelites. Jesus embraces me and I don't even see Him.
The "shake the dust off your feet" thing seems very threatening,
but my immediate reaction was that I would never reject an apostle.
We have some new neighbors. I was ecstatic when I found out that
our new neighbors have boys around my boys' age. Two of their boys
are six year old twins. They are cute and we hit it off right away.
However, I soon learned that the twins leave their house at day break and
don't return until sundown.... and much of their time is spent at
the O'Reilly household. I've found that I've fallen into a bad habit.
When they ring the doorbell, I look out and if my boys are not home, I
don't even open the door. I simply look out the window, shake my
head and they go away. Shame on me. I should at least give
them the courtesy of an explanation. I hope they aren't shaking the
dust off of their feet. I guarantee that I will not do that any more.
My prayer today would be that I would recognize God's messengers and I
would be a welcoming host.
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