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Posted October 28, 2010

Book: Day by Ordinary Day: Daily reflections on the first readings, Year 1
Author: Rev. Mark G. Goyer
St. Paul’s/Alba House. Staten Island, NY. 2010

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

The present volume is designed to be used by individuals for private study and prayer and by homilists for study, prayer, and preaching. As such each day of the Season of Ordinary Time follows the same five-part pattern: 1. a title is given to the exercised for the day along with a notation (biblical book, chapter and verse): 2. a few short verses of Scripture taken from the first reading provided in the Lectionary for Mass for each day are then provided. 3. next is a reflective study of the passage chosen applying valuable background and contextual information concerning the reading. As such it offers new perspectives for study and application; 4. this is followed by a question for personal meditation that functions as a guide for personal appropriation of the message of the Sacred Scripture passage. Homilists can use these questions as a basis for sermons or brief homilies. And 5. a prayer summarizing the original theme of the Scripture reading which was studied and explored in the reflection and which served as the foundation for the meditation. This can be used as a fitting conclusion to the General Intercessions or Prayer of the Faithful during the celebration of Mass.

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C Wisdom 11:22-12:2

Immortal Spirit

Scripture: “You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living. For your immortal spirit is in all things.” (Wisdom 11:26-12:1)

Reflection: This passage from the Book of Wisdom, also known as the Wisdom of Solomon, comes from a section of the work (11:1-12:27) that deals with God’s actions toward the Israelites liberated from Egypt and the Egyptians who held them as slaves. Today’s passage is taken from the reflection upon the Egyptians and explains why the Lord didn’t just wipe out the Egyptians because “it is always in God’s power to show great strength”

The author declares that form God’s point of view the whole world “is like a speck that tips the scales, and like a drop of morning dew that falls on the ground. In other words, the whole world doesn’t amount to much from the Lord’s perspective. Then, why would God not wipe out those who enslaved his people? Because he is merciful to all, overlooking peoples sins, “so that they can repent” (11:23). God’s mercy is so great that it is given to people to enable them to change their minds so that they can change their behavior.

God loves “all things that exist” (11:24), including people and spares them because they belong to him. In fact, in everything and in everyone can be found his “immortal spirit: (12:1). Like an artist who leaves something of himself or herself in what he or she creates, the Lord has left his immortal spirit, in all of his creation. He looks with mercy upon creation --- even Egyptians --- so that people can repent, “be freed from wickedness and put their trust” in him (12:2)

The Book of Wisdom presents us with an interesting dilemma when we confront anyone or anything we label as “enemy.” For the same immortal spirit that surges through us, also surges through our enemy. Furthermore, the same immortal spirit that keeps the trees alive also keeps us alive. The animals around the world, the plants we cultivate for food, the flowers growing in our gardens --- all contain and disclose God’s immortal spirit. Keeping in contact with that spirit not only reminds us of our connection to everything and God, but it also calls us to see, insofar as humans can, everything from God’s point of view.

Mediation: To what/whom does God’s immortal spirit connect you? What are the implications of those concerns?

Prayer: Lord, lover of all that exists, from nothing you brought into being the world and everyone and everything in it, but all is like a speck in your sight. Make us aware of your immortal spirit that inhabits all things and, in your mercy, overlook our sins. Through the Holy Spirit, bring us to repentance. You live and reign as one God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – sparing all things, forever and ever. Amen.

Table of Contents:

First Readings through the Year