FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
Ezekiel 33: 7-9 has a very strange, challenging and frightening message for us today. “…if you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way, the wicked shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death. …if you warn the wicked…you shall save yourself.” As a world, we are a community that is responsible for one another. We are having wonderful examples of the responders to the flood victims in Texas, the Caribbean, Florida and beyond. These courageous people remind us to be mindful in the everyday run of things, to not let wickedness abound, such as, gossip, bullying, cheating, jealousy, etc. At all times we need to be “responders” to all that diminishes us. We have the choice as to whether these circumstances defeat us, or whether we bestow love , mercy and the Lord’s presence on wickedness.
St. Paul in Romans 13: 8-10 gives us the one condition for fulfilling the law – LOVE. In Matthew 18: 15-20 Jesus talks about persistence in seeking reconciliation. Prayer, especially together, is another way in which to seek the conversion of the wicked. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”
This week we give thanks for our grandparents, living or deceased. Many of us are first, second or third generation immigrants. Those that went before us made many sacrifices to provide for a better life for us.
May they be richly rewarded.
Why is our name so important? Parents are very particular in the name they give their child. It may be their own, or a relative or some unusual name. Some Native Americans may give their child the name of something in nature – Running Water, Little Bird, Eagle Eyes, etc. Each has a meaning special to that child and the future. My name, Rosemarie, means “Dew of the Sea” or “She Knows.” So, what is all this talk about names? This week we celebrate the Holy Name of Mary on September 12. Mary’s name was a popular name, meaning “Star of the Sea,” “Wished-for-Child,” “Sea of Bitterness,” “Beloved” and “Rebellion.” Abarim-publications.com or biblestudytools.com These appellations are very interesting and would be worth your time for a “look-up” and reflection. Research on your own name can be revealing, too.
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross falls on September 14. It may seem strange to honor a piece of wood, but we see people honoring and treasuring all manner of inanimate objects. Why not the cross on which Jesus died? It was soaked with his blood and sweat. It was his last resting place in his life. It is a reminder of what can be lost through sin, but redeemed through love. This dead tree bloomed with the new life of reconciliation and forgiveness. Hail to the Holy Cross, sign of redemption.
The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows reminds us that her name means, “Sea of Bitterness.” This day calls for a reflection on Mary’s trials and tribulations. Making the Way of the Cross is a way to remember these sorrows.
St. John Chrysostom, born in Antioch in the 4th century, son of a Syrian General, was brought up by his mother, a wise and holy woman. He is called the “Golden Mouthed,” because of his eloquence in preaching. He is considered the most prominent Doctor of the Greek Church. As Bishop of Constantinople, he cleansed the household of finery and feasting, using the money for the poor, reformed the clergy and stood strong against all manner of social, ecclesiastical and political intrigue. In the end his enemies arranged his exile, and made sure he travelled in terrible conditions from which he died. Catholic Encyclopedia.com
May God give you the strength to bear your cross, speak out for truth and light a candle of hope.