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Sunday, September 2, 2012

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22nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27
Psalm 15:2-5
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

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"Humbly welcome the word that has taken root in you." —James 1:21

Millions of Catholics throughout the world will have attended Mass today. Each of them heard the word of God proclaimed in the above Scripture readings. "God's word is living" (Heb 4:12); it will seek to find a home in each person who heard it. God's word is seed (Lk 8:11); it can grow and take root within each person.

Using an analogy, this word planted within you resembles a living baby within the womb of its mother. The baby, while still an embryo, normally attaches to the mother's uterine wall and "takes root." Some mothers use chemical abortifacients to prevent the baby from taking root within them. The baby cannot take root and is aborted. If not aborted chemically, the baby will successfully take root and grow rapidly. As the baby grows, it can still be aborted surgically, which involves a violent uprooting from the mother's body.

Since God's word is living and will thus automatically grow, the question is: will you "humbly welcome the word that has taken root in you" (Jas 1:21) or will you abort the word and expel it from your life? The author of the book of James recommends that the best way to help the word take root is to act on the word and not just hear it (Jas 1:22). Did you let the word planted within you from last Sunday take root and grow? What will you do with the word of God planted within you today?

Prayer:  Father, may I heed what I hear of Your word (Mk 7:16).

Promise:  "He wills to bring us to birth with a word spoken in truth." —Jas 1:18

Praise:  Praise Jesus, risen head of His Body, the Church! All glory and praise to the King of kings. Alleluia!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 30, 2012

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