Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Weekday Readings



The Twenty-eighth Week in the Year  October 14 - 19, 2019

Luke 11.29-32
Signs from God are commonplace in revelation.  So Jesus does not condemn asking for a sign.  In fact, Jesus praises the sign that was seen in Solomon’s wisdom and in Jonah’s redemption.  Rather, Jesus condemns the motivation for seeking that sign.  He calls it an evil generation that seeks a sign because of its own sense of self importance.  A generation which is not aware of its own need for regeneration through repentance is not in the position to demand a sign.  My prayer must cut through the hypocrisy.  In fact, I will be poor and not expect a sign.  I will live my prayer in the silent unknowing of faith.  I will seek wisdom from Jesus who is greater than Solomon.  I give myself in repentance upon hearing the word of him who is greater than Jonah.
Luke 11.37-41
The Pharisee was astonished that Jesus did not perform the ritual cleansing before dinner and was not astonished at the words that came from the mouth of the Savior, nor by the miracles, nor by the presence of the Word made flesh.  The Pharisee was caught up with the externals of religious ritual.  Jesus dispenses with this ritual to teach a lesson that is more important.  Although ultimately Jesus commands us to participate in the sacraments of his Church, having himself instituted these ritual signs,  Jesus also directs us in prayer to be careful of the place in the heart from where comes my motivation for the things that I do.  It is in the locus of the heart that God would hold me into himself and work through me.  The works of almsgiving and service proceed from that intention to love God above all.   Let me be still in my prayer that the word may penetrate me deeply and transfigure me.
Luke 11.42-46
Religion can become the enemy of God's Spirit when religion is divorced from righteousness, that is, the holiness of God and the love that comes from God and returns toward God.  Jesus says in that very same breath that I must not neglect the true religious practices that prepare my heart for God.  But again I must be sensitive to the love that only the Spirit can implant in my heart.  Otherwise, I am as a grave holding a lifeless soul.  Do I share in burdening people with weights that are beyond them?  These are empty burdens that are the byproducts of a false sense of religion.  We know of them from the history of the Church; we see them presently in the Islamic  terrorism.   My prayer must bear the pain of the Church whose members throughout the centuries have polluted the freedom that Christ gives.  Jesus exacts from us the sincere behavior of the Gospel virtues.  They are not a burden but the source of true happiness.  But his burden is light and his yoke is easy, and being meek and humble of heart we can learn to carry the burden, which he did not refuse to bear for us.
Luke 11.47-54
Woe, indeed, misery and condemnation for those who thinking themselves religious contribute to the bloodshed in the world.  On the one hand I say I am of God and yet in my actions and speech I contribute to the injustice of the world.  Do I?  Oh, how I want my prayer to be a complete opening into the clarity of God's justice.  I do not want to identify petty, particular politics solely with God's justice.  Is the blood of the prophets on my hands?  How do I fool myself?  Let my prayer be an enlightenment that opens for me the paths of justice and peace.  Jesus speaks of locking up the knowledge that comes from God.  Does rebellious dissent from Church teachings because of my rebellion hinder others from entering into the fullness of the Church?  These warnings and condemnations are valid today as yesterday and endure till the coming of Christ.  Let me be purified and simplified through my prayer.
Friday (Feast of St. Luke, the Evangelist; meditation on weekday Gospel.))

Luke 12.1-7
Hypocrisy achieves two goals.  First, I want to appear as I am not so I can garner the praise and satisfaction that come from others' admiration.  Secondly, I want to cover up the hidden reality of my wretched condition.  If people really knew what lies hidden in my heart and in my past, they would reject or condemn me.  This is the leaven of hypocrisy that infiltrates all my behavior.  Living in such awe of the admiring throng I fear those who can not only destroy my reputation but also who could harm me.  This hypocrisy drives me farther away from the simple trust in the Father.  I should fear rather my condemnation in God's judgment where all will be revealed.  My prayer is to bring all this into the light of the Father for his compassionate purification.  I am worth more than sparrows because I am in the Son's image.  Father, receive me back and count me as one of your servants.  Banish fear that drives me to hypocrisy.  Let me trust in you as I face the judgment here among people and in your sight.
Luke 12.8-12
What is this absolute, divine Mystery before which I surrender in adoration?  It is the Mystery of God as the ultimate Reality toward which all creation moves.  Every human person holds within himself and herself a correspondence, a mutuality to this eternal vocation in God.  It is Jesus living now by the Holy Spirit in the sacramentality of the Church.  The Spirit is the mediator of this eternal destiny.  His name is holy because it is the fullness of redemption into God in eternal life.  This Mystery, God with his angels, comes on the last day of judgment and summing-up.  Jesus will present each of us into the fullness of incorporation into the life of the Holy Trinity only if each of us has accepted Jesus according to the grace afforded to us in the providence guiding our present life.  Our responsibility is to respond with all our heart to this call.  Then Christ can respond to us on that day that is surely coming.  All is forgiven on that day, except that we blasphemed the Spirit who calls us into salvation.  We sin against the Spirit by refusing Christ’s power over us.  Every day our prayer is an anticipation of that Day of Judgment.  We give ourselves in silence to the Spirit; we claim Jesus as our way, our truth, and our life.  Our prayer spills over into a daily witness to the glory that is Jesus, Savior of all peoples.

 --William Fredrickson, Obl. Sec. OSB, D.Min.


For questions, comments or other communication, please contact:
William Fredrickson