Reflection on Mass Reading for October 12, 2017
The Book of the Prophet Malachi is one of the shortest in the Old Testament and was written nearly 450 years before the birth of Christ, but in many ways, it reads as if it was written last week. God loves His people yet it looks like many reject this awesome gift. Religious leaders are negligent and simply tell people what they want to hear. Faithful couples are leaving their loves preferring sorcerers, liars and insanity-driven power trips while the world seems to be bent on destroying itself. Sounds like a description of the news this morning. The First Reading today is taken from the very last part of this book where God is not vague about how the earth’s cliffhanger is resolved. It will be “blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble (straw), and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” igniting fast and disappearing like straw. If we stopped right there, we would no doubt be swallowed up in fatalism and despair and that is why the Psalmist bids us to repeat several times over the words, “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord…Blessed are they who hope in the Lord…Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.” Then what are we to do? Once again, the answer comes to us through the Gospel of the day which is “ask, seek, knock.” Prayer is the life of the new heart. (CCC 2697)
Throughout the centuries, Christians maintained three main expressions of prayer; vocal, meditation, and contemplation. Together, they make a phenomenal path to peace and holiness, not to mention sanity.
Vocal – We are body and spirit, thus it is important to express our spiritual feelings outwardly [we speak].
Meditation – The mind searches to understand what God is saying [we think, imagine, desire and feel].
Contemplation – “We are alone with the One who loves us” [God speaks, we listen and experience].
The one who asks through vocal prayer, receives; the one who seeks through meditation, finds; and the one who knocks at the door of contemplation, can change the world one soul at a time.
“In the confrontation between water and the rock the water always wins. Not through strength but through persistence.”