15 July – Memorial for St. Bonaventure, Bishop, Religious, Doctor
St. Bonaventure (1221-1274) entered the Franciscan Order when he was 22. At the age of 35 he was chosen General of his Order and restored a perfect calm where peace had been disturbed by internal dissensions. He did much for his Order and composed The Life of St. Francis. He also assisted at the translation of the relics of St. Anthony of Padua.
Hezekiah fell ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, ‘The Lord says this, “Put your affairs in order, for you are going to die, you will not live.”’ Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and addressed this prayer to the Lord, ‘Ah, Lord, remember, I beg you, how I have behaved faithfully and with sincerity of heart in your presence and done what is right in your eyes.’ And Hezekiah shed many tears.
Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, ‘Go and say to Hezekiah, “The Lord, the God of David your ancestor, says this: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will cure you: in three days’ time you shall go up to the Temple of the Lord.” I will add fifteen years to your life. I will save you from the hands of the king of Assyria, I will protect this city.”’
‘Bring a fig poultice,’ Isaiah said, ‘apply it to the ulcer and he will recover.’ Hezekiah said, ‘What is the sign to tell me that I shall be going up to the Temple of the Lord?’ ‘Here’ Isaiah replied’’ ‘is the sign from the Lord that he will do what he has said. Look, I shall make the shadow cast by the declining sun go back ten steps on the steps of Ahaz.’ And the sun went back the ten steps by which it had declined.
Jesus took a walk one sabbath day through the cornfields. His disciples were hungry and began to pick ears of corn and eat them. The Pharisees noticed it and said to him, ‘Look, your disciples are doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath.’ But he said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God and how they ate the loaves of offering which neither he nor his followers were allowed to eat, but which were for the priests alone? Or again, have you not read in the Law that on the sabbath day the Temple priests break the sabbath without being blamed for it? Now here, I tell you, is something greater than the Temple. And if you had understood the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless. For the Son of Man is master of the sabbath.’
I will cure you.
We are surrounded by authorities who set rules and guidelines as to what we can or cannot do. We experience life with authority as a baby, when our parents watch over us because we are just helpless beings. In civil society, there are various authorities, led by people who are a little more powerful than ourselves. For some of us, we are in positions that require us to set rules and guidelines for others to follow. As much as we would like the parties affected to adhere to them, we eventually realise that some of the decisions we make will affect the lives of others.
In today’s reading and Gospel, we witness the power of our Lord God, the power to cure a dying man. Even in today’s context, for a very sick person to be suddenly well again, can be a miracle according to the professional doctors, because our body begins to heal itself — a very powerful sign of our God who cures from the inside. Our Father is a very simple God. He does not see your richness, nor your looks, neither does He judge the status of whom He loves. He loves everyone and, most importantly, He listens to your prayers and deep faith in Jesus. It is a simple message in today’s passages, we are strongly reminded of God’s power and the authority He has when He is among us. Nothing is able to topple his intentions for us, and what He has planned in our mission to spread His love, for Him and love of Him.
Allow ourselves to get organised in our very comfortable and perhaps fulfilled life, to be able to arrange our priorities that the Lord God is taking charge of us. By placing God in the centre of our lives, we do not have to feel afraid or get led astray by evil temptations. We are surrounded by the right guidance in living a faithful and fulfilling life, bound by the commandments of our one true God.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Austin Leong)
Prayer: Today, we pray for our faith, that in times of disappointments and or hopelessness, we do not turn to anger or any other form of non-genuine help, but only to be assured that the Father who love us is already by our side to embrace us, keeping us safe. Increase our faith O Lord.
Thanksgiving: I thank you Lord for giving my life each morning when I wake up.