Thursday, October 19, 2023
Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, presbyters, and companions, martyrs
Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest
“Woe to you!” with these harsh words Jesus addresses those who stubbornly stand in the way, locked in their injustices. Already the prophets in the Old Testament used strong words denouncing the unfaithfulness of the chosen people for abandoning the Lord. The prophetic word is not so much a prediction of what will happen in the future, as we sometimes think, as if everything is already preordained. Rather, the prophetic word is God’s reading judging the works of man. “Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (Heb 4:12). This word is meant to shake and repent. In the face of grave and imminent danger the Lord’s loud call sounds like a wake-up call that is meant to warn so that we can get to safety. In the face of these signals the Lord sends it is necessary to be responsive. To shake ourselves in order to begin again. Then even a strong word of denunciation and warning becomes a word of salvation offered to all, especially for those who think they do not need it, but without which they would remain closed in their selfishness.