Daily Readings Reflection for 9/10/09


Reflection on the Daily Readings for 9/10/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Lectionary # 440. Thurs of 23 week. Colossians 3:12-17. Psalm
150:1-2.3-4.5-6. Luke 6:27-38.

Our selection from St. Paul passage (Col 3:12-17) is beautiful and
practical for helping us develop a good life of virtue. It certainly is
worthwhile praying over and should give us some ideas of how to improve our
spiritual life. He is offering us a system of virtues that reflect the
Gospels especially the beatitudes that we find in Luke and Matthew. These
virtues and habits are part of the journey of faith that saints have taken
and we are, as Paul says, the elect who are to put these dispositions into
our daily routine. They will motivate what we do and make us and others
better persons. To those who seek power the virtues may seem to be for weak
people, but such demands from Jesus and Paul are meant only for those who
are truly strong in spirit and in generosity.

Luke’s selection has Jesus following up on what he said in the beatitudes
and now he is giving the accompanying virtues, but Paul is the one who
spells them out and seems to be catching the inner spirit of the beatitudes
both the ones from the sermon on the mount and the ones from Luke on the
plain. Jesus will tell us that “You are to be compassionate as God is
compassionate.” Matthew is actually saying the same thing but with a
different accent, “You are to be perfect (that is mature, wholesome, and
focused) as your heavenly Father is. It is, however, Paul who gets us into
the way these two sayings are to be lived out in a virtuous way. Paul uses
these virtues which are all summed up in love and love is the centerpiece
of what Jesus is saying in the beatitudes. We are summoned, challenged and
encouraged by the complementarity of these readings.

Take some time out to list these virtues as Paul does for us. They are the
stuff out of which saints are made and we are all called to be saints in
our daily chores, duties, and ministries. As sons and daughters of God we
will be the beatitudes in action through these virtues. The original Greek
words for them enable the reader to relate these habits of the heart to
what Jesus asks of us. We are to be people who live out God’s
loving-kindess (hesed). The virtues which support this are as follows from
Paul’s list: tenderness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, affirmation
of others, forgiveness, peace, wisdom, thankfulness and above all love
which binds all of these virtues together. Paul encourages us to then sing
about them in our praise of God through psalms, hymns, and inspired songs.

Paul will come back to these virtues in another place. Moffatt translates
them in I Corinthians 13:4-8 in the following way. We could substitute I in
each of them –“Love is patient (I am?), very kind. Love knows no jealousy;
love makes no parade, gives itself no airs, is never rude, never selfish,
never irritated, never resentful; love is never glad when other go wrong,
love is gladdened by goodness, always slow to expose, always eager to
believe the best, always hopeful, always patient. Love never disappears.”
By putting myself in front of each of these qualities, I would have a good
examination of conscience at the end of the day. And could end the day by
praying or singing a psalm or hymn in thanksgiving for the virtues I
practiced this day. Amen.


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