Thursday, October 15, 2015 ~ Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
Holy Gospel: Luke 11:5-13 The Lord said: “Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’ in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.
Meditation: How can God’s wisdom free us from being double-minded and spiritually blind? God sent his prophets to open the ears of his people to hear and understand God’s word and intention for their lives. God’s wisdom is personified in the voice of the prophets, a voice that often brought rejection and death because they spoke for God rather than for human favor and approval. Jesus chastised many of the religious leaders of his day for being double-minded and for demanding from others standards which they refused to satisfy. They professed admiration for the prophets from the past by building their tombs while at the same time they opposed the message that the prophets spoke in God’s name. They rejected the prophets’ warnings and closed their ears to the word of God. Are you guilty of doing the same?
Prayer: O God, who through your Spirit raised up Saint Teresa of Jesus to show the Church the way to seek perfection, grant that we may always be nourished by the food of her heavenly teaching and fired with longing for true holiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: The religious lawyers and scribes held the “key of knowledge” since they were the official interpreters of the Scriptures. Unfortunately their interpretation of the Scriptures became so distorted and difficult to understand that others were “shut off” to the Scriptures. They not only shut themselves to heaven – they also hindered others from understanding God’s word. Through pride and envy, they rejected not only the prophets of old, but God’s final prophet and Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the “key of David” (see Isaiah 22:22; Revelations 3:7) who opens heaven for those who accept him as Lord and Savior. He is the “Wisdom of God” and source of everlasting life. Only the humble of heart – those who thirst for God and acknowledge his word as truth – can truly understand the wisdom which comes from above [see Psalm 119:99ff: “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.”]. God is ever ready to speak his word to us and to give us true wisdom and understanding so that we make seek perfection as did Saint Teresa of Jesus. These well-known lines she composed are worth contemplating: “Let nothing disturb thee, nothing dismay thee. All is passing, God ever remains. Patience obtains all. Whoever possesses God cannot lack anything for God alone suffices.”