“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 28, 2016 – Saturday in the 8th Week of the Church Year
Saint for the day: Mary Ann of Jesus Paredes (1614-1645)
Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:
Jude 17, 20b-25 – Psalm 63 – Mark 11:27-33
“My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.”(today’s responsorial verse)
The S & P’s were not interested in being a part of Jesus’ life. They were only concerned with making sure that their position in any matters of religious belief was not challenged. They ask Jesus, “By whose authority are you doing these things? (eg. the cleansing of the Temple and the turning over of the moneychangers tables)
Weak people always assert their own authority whenever challenged. That’s why they pumped up their image with widened phylacteries and flowing robes. Jesus’ words, “If you wish to be first … seek the last position” were not words that they took to heart.
The question for all of us shouldn’t be like that of the S & P’s but, rather looking deep within our own lives to see what is our motivation to be one with Jesus. What do you thirst for?
The other night I was speaking to our novices here at the Priory in San Francisco. Here are five young men seeking to follow Jesus and ultimately become preachers of his love and mercy. They were asking questions about my own, personal life experiences and I had to come back to the basics: our lives need to be centered on thirsting for the Lord. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else shall be added unto you.” Anyone coming into religious life needs to have the above scripture passage firmly rooted in their prayer life and not be too caught up in what might be their area of ministry somewhere down the road. In many ways, it really doesn’t matter what you end up doing as long as the motivation is to seek the Lord and walk in His light and let the people you encounter know of God’s limited mercy and forgiveness. I also told them of the various difficulties that I had to face along the way and how I was able to not lose heart as long as I kept to my commitment to always seek a deeper relationship with the Lord. Yesterday’s reading from 1 Peter reminded us that there would be hard times for those who choose to follow the Lord. But, as God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient!” Today’s first reading from St. Jude reminds us that “it is mercy that I seek” not power and authority. In this regard we need to be counter-cultural. Amen!
Br. Daniel, thank you for your reflection. MS
“We must develop [the soul’s] power by faith and knowledge.”