Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs - Thursday, 19th October 2017
Reading 1, Romans 3:21-29
23 No distinction is made: all have sinned and lack God's glory,
25 God appointed him as a sacrifice for reconciliation, through faith, by the shedding of his blood, and so showed his justness; first for the past, when sins went unpunished because he held his hand;
26 and now again for the present age, to show how he is just and justifies everyone who has faith in Jesus.
27 So what becomes of our boasts? There is no room for them. On what principle- that only actions count? No; that faith is what counts,
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
1 [Song of Ascents] From the depths I call to you, Yahweh:
2 Lord, hear my cry. Listen attentively to the sound of my pleading!
3 If you kept a record of our sins, Lord, who could stand their ground?
4 But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered.
5 I rely, my whole being relies, Yahweh, on your promise.
6 My whole being hopes in the Lord, more than watchmen for daybreak; more than watchmen for daybreak
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Luke 11:47-54
Do not lose the key of knowledge
47 'Alas for you because you build tombs for the prophets, the people your ancestors killed!
48 In this way you both witness to what your ancestors did and approve it; they did the killing, you do the building.
52 'Alas for you lawyers who have taken away the key of knowledge! You have not gone in yourselves and have prevented others from going in who wanted to.'
54 lying in wait to catch him out in something he might say.
Jesus in the key of knowledge that opens God's kingdom for us
Reflection: What does Jesus mean when he says they have taken away the key of knowledge? The religious lawyers and scribes held the "office of the keys" since they were the official interpreters of the Scriptures. Unfortunately their interpretation of the Scriptures became so distorted and difficult to understand that others were "shut off" to the Scriptures. They not only shut themselves to heaven - they also hindered others from understanding God's word. Through pride and envy, they rejected not only the prophets of old, but God's final prophet and Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the "key of David" (see Isaiah 22:22; Revelations 3:7) who opens heaven for those who accept him as Lord and Savior. He is the "Wisdom of God" and source of everlasting life.
Only the humble of heart - those who thirst for God and acknowledge his word as true - can truly understand the wisdom which comes from above. [See Psalm 119:99ff: "I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation."] God is ever ready to speak his word to us and to give us true wisdom and understanding. Do you hunger for the wisdom which comes from above?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, may your word take root in my heart and transform all my thoughts and actions. Give me wisdom and understanding that I may know your will for my life and have the courage to live according to it."
Humility helps us to be receptive to God's wisdom.