June 23, 2016 – Thursday in the 12th Week of the Church Year
Saint for the day: Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860)
2nd Kings 22:8-13, 23:1-3 – Psalm 119 – Matthew 7:15-20
“The Lord is the strength of his people, a saving refuge for the one he has anointed. Save your people, Lord, and bless your heritage, and govern them forever.” (today’s entrance antiphon: Ps. 28:8-7)
Reading through today’s first reading from 2nd Kings you could easily transpose it to be taking place in so many parts of our poor world where awful things are done to innocent people in the name of God. I can so easily imagine God saying, “Who told you to do these kind of terrible things in my name!” And, just in case we didn’t catch the drift of that, the opening of today’s Holy Gospel begins with “Jesus said to his disciples:’ “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in Heaven.’” So, we have to know what the “will of my Father is.” And so, I go all the way back to the beginning of God’s written instructions found in the Genesis, the first book of the bible where we can’t help but read, “And God saw that it was good and blessed it with his love.” (my own translation of Genesis.) However, down through the ages, we have not been very good at taking care of the gifts that God bestows on us. And most of the time we deal with this by taking from someone else their blessings in the hope that doing so will make us happy. In today’s holy gospel Jesus tells us that the only way we can become one with God is by listening to His words and acting on them. If we go all the way back to the beginning of the Bible and read the story of creation we can’t avoid hearing, “And God saw that it was good … and He blessed his creation.” Genesis repeats this phrase for almost every aspect of creation; reminding us that it is God’s desire that we enter into the goodness of all He has created. Usually, however, we want to take the “fast track” and skip the basics – like “love your neighbor as yourself” and “do to one another as you would want done to you.”
I always tell folks that they need to pause every once in a while and look back to see what kind of “wake” they’re leaving as then make their way through the ‘sea of life.’ Does our passage through this world leave fruitfulness or, rather, do we leave a path of destruction and confusion? It might be good for you to go back and re-read today’s Holy Gospel but do it slowly so that the words can really sink in. Amen!