Daily Reflection
June 16th, 2008

John P. Schlegel

Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

What are we to make of today’s readings? What do they say to us as we go about our business on this beautiful June day?

In the first reading, Ahab and Jezebel use greed, conspiracy and ultimately murder to successfully gain a highly sought after vineyard. In the gospel, Jesus invokes the Old Testament commandment meant to moderate vengeance: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” This indicates that the punishment should not exceed the crime/the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation, suggesting we respond to our better instincts. Even the response to the Psalm gives one pause: “Lord, listen to my groaning.”

These readings speak of many things, one being human nature and how we respond to the challenges and opportunities of life. How we respond to each other. On any given day we are confronted with choices. The choices we make shape the life we lead and the relationships we experience.

We all know there are shadows in all of our gardens. We know from experience that we have the capacity to be children of the light and respond in word and deed to the ways of God in whose image we are made. We also know we have the capacity to deviate from that path and do the opposite. In today’s Psalm, David expresses that divided heart as he prays for the security and protection of the temple from evildoers.

As we pray today, let’s ask the question: For what am I groaning; what brings me pain; what or whom do I long for; why am I distracted; what attracts me and pulls me into the shadows of life? Then in the spirit of the psalmist we pray with confidence today’s Psalm 5:

Can you hear, O God, what I have to say?
Do you feel something of what I feel this morning?
I know, O God, that you are grieved
by the selfishness of your children.
The world you created seems to be falling apart.
Your creatures are living for themselves alone, proud and self-sufficient.
They think they do not need you any longer.
I also know, O Lord, that I cannot exist
without the assurance of your eternal love.
Thus I commit myself once more to you and your purposes.
Help me walk in your path for my life.
Give me grace to overcome the many obstacles…
…those who follow you need not be dismayed.
They can sing and dance in the joy of their Lord.
You will continue to reveal yourself to them and care for them and work out your purposes in and through them. (L.F.Brandt translation)

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail


Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook