Posted by: livingscripture | November 6, 2010

Thirty First Saturday of Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

I am very well supplied because of what I received from you through Epaphroditus, ‘a fragrant aroma,’ an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.

                                                             Philippians 4: 18 

How should we live this Word 

Paul is in chains because of his preaching the Gospel.  Financial aid from the Philippians has reached him in this situation.  He is happy, not so much for the needed material help sent, as for what the gesture reveals of their benevolence in regard to him and, especially, their submission to God’s will.

The markedly commercial language, open ‘an account of giving and receiving,’ credit ‘the profit that accrues to your account,’ is used to go from the material aspect of the gift sent to Paul, to its spiritual significance tied to the interior attitude that prompted it.  The intrinsic meaning and value of what is done can be traced to the heart’s depths.  The same work can represent empty incense burning to one’s own self to quiet one’s conscience or it can be ‘an acceptable sacrifice of fragrant aroma, pleasing to God.’

The intention is to redeem the work from its inconsistent exteriority by transforming it into an expression of love toward God and others.  It is no longer a fleeting gesture but an authentic act of worship realized in spirit and in truth according to Jesus’ recommendation.                                                             

Today as I pause for silent contemplation I will examine the roots of my gestures of attention toward others.  I will commit myself to remove whatever may pollute them and to purify my intention continually. 

Lord, purify my heart so that my whole life may become a sacrifice of fragrant aroma.

The voice of Gibran Kahlil, Sage 

Life is darkness if there is no zeal, and every zeal is blind if it is deprived of wisdom.  Every wisdom is vain without action, and every action is empty without love.  To work with love is to bond with others, with self, with God.

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