Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Memorial of Peter Chrysologus, Bishop & Doctor

Today we Catholics celebrate the memory of Peter Chrysologus (Chrysologus means golden-worded). Here is a short blurb on his life (taken from Wikipedia):

- born in Imola (406 A.D.), same place as where he was ordained as a deacon
- appointed by Pope Sixtus III to be Bishop of Ravenna in 433 A.D.
- known for his short but inspired talks
- died in the year 450 or later
- declared a Doctor of the Church in 1729
- his feast day was inserted in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints for celebration on 30 July
- some quotable quotes:
"Anyone who wishes to frolic with the devil cannot rejoice with Christ."
"Brothers, let us be sinners by our own admission, so that with Christ's forgiveness we may be sinners no more."

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

Here's my reflections on today's readings from Jeremiah:

I always wondered at how confident the Old Testament prophets were that the Lord was actually speaking to them, that what they're hearing wasn't a product of a too active imagination or evil spirits or whatever. I often doubt that the voices I hear or the inspirations I get comes from the Lord. Maybe I'm being too scrupulous. Maybe I should be (like Jeremiah) just joyful and happy at heart that I can hear the Lord in the 1st place.

Now Jeremiah did exactly what the Lord told him to (tell the people of Israel what their God says to them) but he was unhappy with the resulting manner in which his people treated him [Under the weight of your hand I sat alone / because you filled me with indignation / Why is my pain continuous / my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?]. Maybe he was expecting, if not to be adored, at least to be listened to with respect. So he complained to the Lord. How many of us are like him? Unhappy with our circumstances? Angry with the way people treat us for doing the right thing? Take your complaints to the Lord! That's what the prophets did. Even Jesus did so (remember His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane?)

So how did the Lord answer Jeremiah? Not with a lightning bolt. Not with fire and brimstone. But with a promise that He will protect Jeremiah "with a wall of brass". He will suffer along with Jeremiah as the people of Israel persecute him. And that's probably God's response to such prayers from us. He will help us through times of trouble, persecution and depression, and He will suffer along with us. After all, He did die for us and came back to life for us.

Bible Readings for Today (Wed of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

Here are the readings for today Wed 30 July:

Jeremiah 15: 10, 16-21
Oh, mother, how I regret that you ever gave birth to me! I am always starting arguments and quarrels with the people of this land. I have not lent money to anyone and I have not borrowed from anyone. Yet all of these people are treating me with contempt.

As your words came to me I drank them in, and they filled my heart with joy and happiness because I belong to you. I did not spend my time in the company of other people, laughing and having a good time. I stayed to myself because I felt obligated to you and because I was filled with anger at what they had done. Why must I continually suffer such painful anguish? Why must I endure the sting of their insults like an incurable wound? Will you let me down when I need you like a brook one goes to for water, but that cannot be relied on?” Because of this, the Lord said, “You must repent of such words and thoughts! If you do, I will restore you to the privilege of serving me. If you say what is worthwhile instead of what is worthless, I will again allow you to be my spokesman. They must become as you have been. You must not become like them. I will make you as strong as a wall to these people, a fortified wall of bronze. They will attack you, but they will not be able to overcome you. For I will be with you to rescue you and deliver you,” says the Lord. “I will deliver you from the power of the wicked. I will free you from the clutches of violent people.”

Matthew 13: 44-46
"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field, that a person found and hid. Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he found a pearl of great value, he went out and sold everything he had and bought it."

Daily Bible Verse

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