June 22, 2016 – Wednesday in the 12th Week of the Church year
2nd Kings 22:8 …23:3 – Psalm 119 – Mt. 7:15-20
“Let the one who has ears to hear, hear Him!”
Today is one of those days when the Church gives us more than enough to “chew on.” If you can’t find some little morsel to think about in all the above offerings you are not really open to hear the Lord calling! In the first scripture from the 2nd Book of Kings we are reminded of all the ways in which the Lord seeks to call us back into His perfect love, the “covenant of Israel.” It’s another reminder to all of us to renew our lives to more perfectly follow our God who is always merciful to those who seek to be one with Him. And, just in case we didn’t get the jest of it, today’s Responsorial Psalm gives us yet another clue: “Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord!” These decrees can be summed up by the first word of each line of the psalm: “Instruct me, O Lord – give me discernment – lead me – incline my heart – turn away my eyes from seeing what is vain – give me a longing for your precepts.”
This is an outline that could be used as a kind of “examine of conscious” as part of our night prayers by putting these phrases in the form of questions: “When have I asked the Lord to instruct me in His ways? How have I used discernment when faced with making some kind of choice? When have I asked the Lord to lead me or to give me a willing heart? Have I turned my eyes away from seeing what is vain and have I longed to follow His precepts?” The Alleluia verse, before today’s Holy Gospel sums it up: “Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord; whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.” This is just one of the many ways in which we can keep the Lord ever before us as leader and guide on the journey to the kingdom. Amen!
The Alleluia verse, just before the Holy Gospel, gives it to us once more just in case we are a little dense early in the morning: “Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord; whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.” Then we are reminded that there will always be circumstances or people who will try to tell us that there is another way to be one with God: false prophets dressed up like sheep and ravenous wolves. Bottom line: the one who wholeheartedly follows the Lord will bear good fruit. I always tell folks, just turn around every once-in-awhile, and look at the “trail” you’re leaving in your words and in your actions. Are you giving people something that helps them draw closer to God or are you more of a condemning person who just makes them feel bad about their spiritual life? Lots to think about in today’s liturgy. Amen!