Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
June 28th, 2012

Deb Fortina

Academic Affairs
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Memorial of St. Irenaeus
[374] 2 Kings 24:8-17
Psalm 79:1b-2, 3-5, 8, 9
Matthew 7:21-29


2Kings 24: 8-17 …At that time the officials of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, attached Jerusalem, and the city came under siege…”

Psalm 79:  1b-2, 3-5, 8, 9 …For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.....”

Matthew 7: 21-29 “…’Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,” will enter the Kingdom of heavern, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven…’…”

St. Irenaeus (120 – 202), was brought up under the tutelage of Bishop St. Polycarp, who lived during the time of St. John, the apostle.  Irenaeus grew in piety and wisdom as he absorbed all he could from this holy man.  He was very bright and he used his intelligence to learn the paths of error taken by those who misrepresented the Truths of our Faith, especially the eastern gnostics and philosophers.  Eventually, he was sent to help Bishop St. Pothinus of Lyons defend the faith.  The Bishop was very grateful for his help, since he was getting up in age.  Bishop Pothinus was eventually martyred for his faith and St. Irenaeus was made Bishop of Lyons.  The Christian persecutors thought their troubles were over as they did not know St. Irenaeus’ skill.  But, instead he continued to win more people over to the Faith, as he cleared up the erroneous teachings which permeated the culture.  Twenty five years later he too was martyred for his Faith.  His work, “Adversus Haereses, Against the Heresies” is his most famous work. 

The overarching theme in today’s readings has to do with obedience.  We learn that the three month reign of King Jehoiachin ends with the takeover by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon.  “He (Jehoiachin) did evil in the sight of the LORD, just as his forebears had done. And Jesus tells us in the Gospel reading that He will say “I never knew you. Depart from me you evildoers.”  What do we do to avoid this outcome?  Jesus says, “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.”  Despite wind and rain the house stands.

When I was just a teenager, I experienced a definite shift in my life as my Mother invited a Christian Brother to come to the house and study Scripture with us six kids.  We weren’t attending Catholic School anymore, and Mom felt our Faith slipping.  Brother Armand Alcazar was an energetic force, and his explanations brought the readings alive for me.  I found myself reading scripture before I went to bed each night and I think I built some of my foundation that year in the middle of the teen years.  The feeling is hard to describe, but to this day I describe it as having more peace in my life, it seemed like some of my troubles melted away.  You know teenagers have trouble too, even though for me it was about fitting in.  Of course, that habit subsided eventually, but I never forgot the feeling.

Jesus is calling us to listen to His words and act on them today, and I’m remembering that more peaceful state I felt as a teenager.  Some of you may be feeling your house shaking too; the world is still experiencing the repercussions of a struggling economy.  More and more of us are feeling vulnerable from the ongoing struggle.  This is exactly how we rekindle our faith, hold on to the life raft, and pray our way back to wholeness again.  Our Saint for today gave us a very good example of reaching out to help another, of how to live a life of piety and how to survive the difficult times.  His understanding of Scripture was phenomenal, and so we ask you, St. Irenaeus to pray for all of us who will come back to God’s Word today.  And Pray, Pray, Pray, with this Scripture and ask others to pray for you too.  We really are all in this together.   God Bless.

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