Monday in the 8th Week of the Church Year

“Scratchpad Reflections are daily meditations on the scripture readings for the date noted and are written by Dominican Brother Daniel Thomas to help readers gain a deeper understanding of the daily liturgies and Masses of celebration. Here is the reflection for:

 May 23, 2016 – Monday in the 8th Week of the Church Year

Saint for the day: Gregory VII (1020-1085)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

1 Peter 1:3-9     –     Psalm 111     –     Mark 10:17-27


You might find the short piece on today’s “Saint” Gregory VIII interesting whenever you think today’s Church is not what it should be. Click on the highlighted “link” above.

In beginning of today’s Holy Gospel the young man comes to Jesus and asks, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus’ response: “… you are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

 Today marks a significant change in our liturgies. We’re just coming out of a long liturgical period of 40 days of Lent followed by 40 days of Easter and 10 days of Pentecost and yesterday’s Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Now we move into the period that the church calls “Ordinary Time” that will take us all the way up to November where we begin all over again with the 1st Sunday of Advent. I hope you notice that I list today’s liturgy as “Monday in the 8th week of the Church year.” Not “Monday in Ordinary Time.” As if there could ever be anything “ordinary” in our following Jesus. When the Church uses the term, “ordinary” that word is taken from the Latin word, “ordinal” which simply means, “counted.” We are now back into the “counted days” so that we can keep track of where we are until we get to Advent.

So, now that we’ve got that all straightened out we can get down to serious business and try to find something in the liturgy for today that will help us follow Jesus more perfectly. In the first place today’s Gospel says, that after the young man approached Jesus with his request Jesus “looked at him and loved him.”

Jesus looks at each of us – and no matter what He sees, He still loves us. But he goes on to say, “You are lacking one thing: go sell what you have and you will have treasure in Heaven.” Here we have to go beyond just looking at material things. When Jesus says, “Go sell everything” He is challenging us to look at the things that take us away from following him completely. Wouldn’t the Church and the world be in a horrible pickle if everyone got rid of everything and just sat down on the edge of the cliff waiting for the 2nd Coming? Even St. Francis – the King of Poverty – sent his friars out begging so they must have had something!

The young man in today’s Gospel must have been a very orthodox guy who had followed each and every one of the 316 precepts of the Law perfectly and still Jesus says, “You lack one more thing get rid of whatever it is that you treasure and spend your life searching for the “pearl of great price” which is usually in the possession of the poorest of the poor. The ones that we are called to help.

We might find some insight into what it means to “follow Jesus” by looking back at some of those who have gone before us to see what kind of treasures they searched for. Who do you consider to have been a “good follower of Jesus” and what was it that made them “good?” Then just go and do what they did. And you will have treasure in Heaven! Think about it. Amen!


Monday in the 8th Week of the Church Year — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you Br. Daniel. MS

    “For if we share with the poor, out of love for God, whatever he has given to us, we shall receive according to his promise a hundredfold in eternal happiness.”

    St. John of God

  2. Dearest Br. “D”,
    Thank you for your most insiteful reflections on the Gospel each day. They are a ‘treasure’ for me, especially since I have been unable to get myself to Mass as before. Not only is your message meaningful, but your faithfulness itself is a message and inspiration to me.
    With My Love in Christ,

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