Readings 2/10/14

1 Kings 8:1-7; 9-13

This reading reminds me of the grace that the Lord deigns to give me.  The ark of the covenant, the law of God, given out of love and compassion, is like the spiritual gifts the Lord gives.  The Lord gives virtues; He sends His Holy Spirit; he gives Himself in the Eucharist.

Solomon, full of wisdom rightly led his people in sacrifice of thanksgiving before receiving and putting in its place the ark of the covenant.  They sacrificed “too many sheep and oxen to number and count.”  Solomon knew that the gifts of redemption were worth more than any material good he had been given.  Moreover, though Israel did not earn the gift of the ark of the covenant, God gave his gift freely.  In thanksgiving for the gifts, Solomon sacrificed.

How infrequently I sacrifice in thanksgiving!  How infrequently do I come close to comprehending the wondrous graces that the Lord bestows upon me!   Would that I imitated Solomon who, in his right reason, gave thanks and praise of a great magnitude, like the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with expensive oil, like the widow who gave to the poor with her last coin.  Like the simple congregation which praises the Lord with fine vessels in which to places His most Precious Body and Blood.

Lord, give me the wisdom and grace to honor you with a pure sacrifice of thanks and praise.  May I give you of my bounty, so that, upon detaching from finite things, I may cling ever more securely to the infinite love you wish to give me.

Mark 6:53-56

The Lord did marvelous things in the midst of his people.  They were astonished and comforted.  They were surprised and hopeful.  They traveled to him for the chance to be healed.  They saw the Glory of God and the works o the Lord.  They experienced the power of the Spirit.  Everywhere Jesus went people flocked to Him.  He healed their bodies and their souls.

The people sought healing.  Though he came to be known for his power, they did not seek power.  They sought healing.  They did not wish to be affirmed in their state.  They sought healing.  They didn’t approach him so that he could judge which form of religion is greatest.  They sought healing.  Deep, penetrating, soul-cleansing healing.

How often I turn to Jesus, not as a sinner who needs healing, but as a prideful son who seeks affirmation in my own judgments and ideology.  Who would rather be affirmed by Jesus, hearing, “son you are right,” rather than, “son, be healed.”

Lord Jesus, grant me the humility to uncover my sins and to turn to you for healing and forgiveness.  Open my heart to receive your healing and grace.

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