Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church
September 30, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Jesus castigates the people of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and even his beloved Capernaum for their lack of faith.
In these Galilean villages, nearby to his own hometown, Jesus has performed many of his miracles and cures. These people have been the audience for his most memorable sermons. But now, Jesus begins to meet resistance and doubt as his disciples assume greater participation in his ministry.
Jesus is preparing for the time when he will no longer be here. He wants to see strong faith in his followers, but he is disappointed. He tells the crowds that they will regret their hard-heartedness, their slowness of conversion. They will be more harshly judged because they failed to respond to more abundant graces.
This passage is filled with spiritual lessons. We, too, have received so many blessings from God. How have we responded?
It is a sad thing to look back on any part of our lives with regret – to say, “I wish I had…” or “I wish I hadn’t”. The only benefit of such sadness is to learn a lesson for our future.
Let’s pray today to live ever more intentional lives – giving ourselves time to recognize and respond to our blessings, to the needs of others, and to the deepening call of faith within our spirits.
May this prayer help us turn our spirits from any crippling self-interest and lukewarm faith to a dynamic, life-giving spirituality. As our responsorial psalm today encourages us: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
Poetry: Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith by Mary Oliver
I listen and look
under the sun's brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can't hear
anything, I can't see anything --
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green
stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,
nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker --
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.
And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing --
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,
the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet --
all of it
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.
And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt
swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn's beautiful body
is sure to be there.
Music: I Can Hear Your Voice ~ Michael W. Smith