Daily Reflection
August 23rd, 2002
Steve Kline
Public Relations
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 107:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Matthew 22:34-40

I will put my spirit in you that you may live . . . -- Ezekiel 37:14

I've had reason lately to feel as if I am standing in a dark scary valley full of dry bones.  Misunderstandings, threats and betrayal by those I thought I could trust can make things seem dark and dead.

Perhaps we in the Church have felt this way, too.

Ezekiel expresses to the exiles God's majestic promise of restoration.  We should cling to this promise.

My spiritual director taught me to ask myself a question in times of confusion and pain:  Is my focus on myself, or is it on God?

Today's Gospel reading prompts other questions:

What if I truly loved God with all my heart, soul and mind?  What if I truly loved my neighbor as much as I love myself?  And if I was full -- heart, soul and mind -- of that love, would I ever have doubts about how to behave?

There's no hint in the portion of the Gospel story that we have today that shows Jesus was aware of the duplicitous, threatening nature of the Pharisee's question.  Jesus' response is unhesitatingly honest, confident, innocent.

Stephen Covey, the management consultant and author, wrote:
"Nothing is more disturbing to people who are full of trickery and duplicity than straightforward honesty -- that's the one thing they can't deal with."

No wonder Jesus was disturbing to some of those around Him.  No wonder He sometimes is disturbing to us.

Loving God means trusting God -- trusting that He will bring goodness and life to transform the dark, dead, bone-filled valleys of trickery and betrayal that surround us.

Trust in God's promise.  He will put His spirit in you, and you will live. Keep this always in your heart, mind and soul.

Have courage today.

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