Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dt 11:18, 26-28, 32
Rom 3:21-25, 28
Mt 7:21-27

Tefillin, or phylacteries, are leather boxes containing particular passages from Scripture that some devout Jewish people strap to their foreheads and arms during morning prayer. The purpose of the phylacteries are to serve as a reminder that they are to be dedicated to God in whatever they do, feel or think. The phylacteries, in and of themselves, have no power, they cannot save the person wearing them, they simply serve as a reminder, a reminder of the rock of God on which the house of faith is built.

They may appear strange to us, but as Catholics we have our own version of these devotional items, things we refer to as Sacramentals. Scapulars, medals, other items we may wear, some we use but do not carry, like Holy Water. Again, these items are meant to simply serve as a reminder of who we are, of what we believe. They are designed to draw us to God, to assist us in our devotions, to be, hopefully, a constant reminder of who we are, of what we believe. In and of themselves these items have no power to save us. We may carry the words of God close to our minds and hearts, we may wear our scapulars and medals, but they are just reminders. They exist to draw us to the Rock, the rock of safety, the Rock of faith, the Rock that is our God. We must do more than carry these devotions on our bodies, we must carry them in our hearts and in our souls. We must hear the words and act on them. Only then have we set the foundation of our house of faith on rock, on solid ground. Only then have we placed our faith in the Rock, built our faith on the Rock, safe from wind and storm.

Deacon John
Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 1, 2008