Saturday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feasts: Pope Saint Sixtus II—Martyr and Companions (+258), and
Saint Cajetan—Priest (1480-+1547) Patron Saint of Gamblers and the Unemployed
Book of Deuteronomy 6:4-13, Psalm 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51, & Matthew 17:14-20
When it comes to Sacred Scripture, I have always been partial to the New Testament. The Old Testament is, quite frankly, a little scary. There was so much fire and brimstone, people being wiped off the face of the earth, dying horrible deaths, enduring slavery, and so forth. It seems that the New Testament provided the "you're okay, I'm okay; it's all okay" that spoke to me. I suppose that you could say I was a selective reader. However, today's readings point out how far off-base I was in my original views.
In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses reminds us that everything is a gift from God. Additionally, our goal in life should be to love and serve God, we are to keep God's commandments on our hearts, and we should teach them to our children every opportunity we have. This Scripture passage from the Old Testament was incredibly reaffirming to me. It is a reminder that regardless of how busy our lives are, we must keep God at the forefront of our lives—equating to time well spent.
The Psalmist echoes the lesson of Deuteronomy. "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer."
Then comes the Gospel narrative of Saint Matthew. What happened to I'm okay; you're okay? A father brings a boy to Christ, saying, Jesus' disciples could not heal the child. Jesus explodes, showing anger, frustration, and exasperation. Jesus heals the boy. Later the disciples approach our Lord with some timidity, I suspect and ask why they couldn't heal the boy. He said to them quite bluntly, "Because of your little faith." However, Jesus's love and compassion soon surface as He uses the mustard seed to teach His disciples the power of faith. He reassures them that, with faith, "Nothing will be impossible for you." So, there it is—a wonderful lesson for the disciples as well as for us.
Question of the Day: How will you apply the wonderful lessons from the Old and New Testaments to your life?
Prayer: "I love you, Lord, my strength." (Psalm 18)