FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
Believing in the word of God and that of those sent by God seems to be one focus of this Sunday’s Scripture readings. Deuteronomy 18: 15-20 It is a challenge to know who is speaking the word of God. From an early age a child instinctively knows right from wrong. However, often times the conscience is perverted by unscrupulous people and is torn from its original safeguards. Parents and/or guardians have a sacred duty to form the conscience of a child with strong values and good moral standards. The basics are pretty well formed by the time a child is six or seven years old. From then on the job is to re-enforce good behavior and strong moral standards.
It is from this formation that recognition of God’s word becomes more apparent. Prayer and reading of Scripture helps to prepare the listening mode for God’s word. Of course, just hearing the word is not the goal, but the tool that can be used to put into action God’s word.
Often times a sign is required for people to believe. In Mark 1: 21-28 we see Jesus preaching with authority, which amazed people. On top of that he cast out an evil spirit from a person who declared Jesus as “the Holy One of God.” His fame spread afar and people flocked to him to see more miracles and unusual behavior. However, today such happenings are rare and we are called upon to accept the word of God, as rendered in Scripture and preached by those who have been blessed with insight and the ability to explain and expand the word. In John 1: 1; 14 we have a beautiful passage about the word. “In the beginning was the Word; the Word was in God’s presence, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we have seen his glory; the glory an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.” Now we see that the Word is a person with whom we are to build a relationship.
This week we recall the life of St. John Bosco who was born in 1815 in a small Italian town at the foot of the Italian Alps. His family was farm hands who struggled from day to day to survive. When John was two year of age his father died leaving his mother the job of raising three boys. John was a natural leader and would often encourage other youth to be good and holy. From these roots would rise his future title of teacher and defender of youth. As a priest, he managed to draw hundreds of bereave young boys from lives of crime and poverty into his circle of care and love. He was eventually able to provide housing for orphan boys. He founded the Society of St. Francis De Sales, the Salesians. He eventually cooperated in the founding of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. donboscowest.org
Friday is the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. It was a Jewish requirement that first born boys had to be presented in the temple and consecrated to God. Mary and Joseph bought a pair of turtle doves with which to redeem their child. It was on this occasion that Simeon, a just and pious man, made a profound prediction and revelation about Jesus, “…a revealing light to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.” He also predicted that Mary would have great sorrow because of this child. Anna, the prophetess was also on hand to talk about this child as “…the deliverance of Jerusalem.” Luke 2: 22-40
Friday is also World Day of Consecrated Life. This day gives us an opportunity to thank and pray for religious men and women throughout the world, but especially for those closest to you.
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Psalm 95: 7-8
Sister Rosemarie Goins,