Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School Boost

I found today's readings from the Liturgy of the Hours to be very appropriate given that today is the first day of school in Carroll County. Let's begin with a reading from Tobit:

Blessed be God who lives for ever,
whose kingdom is eternal:
for he both punishes and takes pity,
he leads down to the underworld,
and rescues from perdition;
no one can escape him.
Give thanks to him before all nations, children of Israel:
he scattered you among them,
and there he has made known his greatness.
Give glory to him before all who live:
he is our Lord, our father,
and our God for ever.
He will punish you for your transgressions;
but he will take pity on all your sufferings,
and gather you together from all the nations
among whom he scattered you.
If you turn back to him
with all your heart and soul
– if you keep faithful to him –
he will turn back to you
and hide his face no longer.
So now look at what he has done with you,
and praise him with all your might.
Bless the Lord of justice,
and glorify the eternal King.
In the land of my captivity I trust in him;
I show his power and majesty to the sinful people.
Turn back, sinners,
and be upright in his presence
– perhaps he will forgive you and show you his favour.
I will rejoice in the Lord with all my soul,
my soul will rejoice as long as it lives.
Bless the Lord, all his chosen ones:
all people, praise his greatness.
Fill your days with joy
and proclaim his glory.

Antiphon: Exalt the King of Eternity in everything you do.

The lesson here (at least for me): Wherever we go, we are in exile, in a sense, even when we go to school. Yet this reading reminds us that even though the Church is scattered in the world and in our communities, God "has shown us his greatness even there." So "in the land of our captivity," wherever that may be, let us rejoice in the Lord and proclaim him - at work, in the classroom, at home, everywhere.

And finally, the reading for today:

You must wake up now: the night is almost over, it will be daylight soon. Let us give up all the things we prefer to do under cover of the dark; let us arm ourselves and appear in the light. Let us live decently as people do in the daytime. - Romans 13

Blessings to every student, teacher, and parent as we begin another year of school.

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Amen.

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