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- Written by Br. Daniel Thomas, OP
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Thursday in the Eighteenth week of the Church year
Saint for the day:Edith Stein (1891-1942)
“A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.” (Psalm 51)
It’s always easier for me to write these daily reflections when there are scripture passages which appear to have conflicting images. A little tension forces me to think it through more clearly.
Today we continue our journey through readings from our pal, Jeremiah who tells the people “I have a new way of establishing the covenant: “In those days, says the Lord, I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts. I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
It’s as much as saying, “don’t just follow all the laws in a rigorous way: follow me in love.”
In Ezekiel, God tells his people he will change their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh (Ezek 36:26) and then in today’s Gospel Jesus praises Peter and says, “You are ROCK and upon this rock I will build my Church.”
We’re back to a reoccurring problem that we have to face all the time: it’s not a matter of “either or,” but, rather, “both and!” But for most of us this is where we run into a problem. We always want things concerning God to be clear cut and easy to latch on to. It reminds me of the old Lenten Fast regulations where many of us nit-picked over how much we could eat at our “small meal” or, how much of the Mass could we miss without committing a mortal sin?
Our bottom line here appears to be our desire to be “rock solid” in our faith stemming from our loving hearts of flesh. So, Peter, who is praised in today’s Gospel for his understanding of who God is in his life, will later deny even knowing Jesus. Yet, the resurrected Jesus gives him the “Keys to the Kingdom” while asking him, “Peter! Do you love me?” THREE times! This one theme should give all of us hope that we, too, might have a chance even though we slip and slide in our efforts to follow Jesus.
I think our God is pretty great in this regard! Amen!
I’d like to hear from you to know that you’re getting these reflections. Use the link below to go to my “home page” where you’ll find more stories and pictures along with a link to e-mail me