The Catholic Calendar for Friday, February 10, 2006
Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Scholastica, virgin
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
I Kings 11:29-32; 12: 19
A reflection on today's Scripture. . . .
"He has done all things well." (Mark 7:37)
When things went badly for the Israelites, they attributed it to "the wrath of God," His vengeance against a faithless, disobedient people. In truth, God doesn't indulge in such base human emotions. Their misery was self inflicted by their having shut Him out of their lives, failing to live in His truth and love, thereby leaving themselves defenseless against evil. His grace is ever available but its power is activated only by human receptivity; for God always honors our "free will." Solomon's corruption, his following strange gods, influenced his people and led to the splitting of his kingdom and being replaced by an even more cruel leader over the ten tribes taken from him. Today's Psalm aptly states, "If only my people would hear me and walk in my ways, quickly would I humble their enemies."
In today's Gospel Jesus travels into Gentile territory, probably as a shortcut to the next Jewish city. Though not wishing to be distracted from His mission to first deliver Israel from its infidelities, He was recognized by these people who then sought His help. His compassion and mercy led Him to heal a deaf man, and in doing so reveals several truths.
First, He asserts God's universal love and His desire to deliver all humanity from its sin and its attendant sufferings. He shows too that the scope of God's healing extends beyond His restoring health to our flesh which is heir to eventual death. He renews the human spirit by enabling us, if we so will it, to live a holy life in this world. Jesus implies too that He leads us to living His eternal life on earth so that we may on "the last day" be freed from this imperfect flesh and raised up in a new, perfect spiritual body like His own.
Heavenly Father, fill our hearts with the desire to fulfill Your Commands to reflect Your wisdom and love so that salvation may be extended throughout this world. Amen.
- Marie Bocko, OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)