BLESSED FRANCIS XAVIER SEELOS (d. 1897)
October 05, 2017
Readings of the day: RB 7:51-54Mass: Nehemiah 8:1-4a,5-6,7b-12; Resp. Psalm 19; Luke 10:1-12
The reading from the Book of Nehemiah is one of my favorites, especially the line, “men, women, and those children old enough to understand.” The line is so good it is repeated. The passage also reminds me of something I heard some years ago from a Trappist monk. In a conference on forming new members into the monastic tradition, the monk shared what he tells all newcomers. It also bears repeating. If you are going to fidget, move around, cough, sneeze, slouch, or otherwise lose attention at Mass or during the celebration of the Divine Office, never do so when the Word is proclaimed. When the Word is proclaimed, one should be still, attentive, and mind their posture so to speak. I think of those assembled when Ezra read from the book of the law of Moses. They listened attentively; they rose when Ezra opened the scroll; they bowed down and prostrated themselves before the Lord. The whole people was so moved they wept. And Ezra, he read plainly so that all could understand what was read.
Do I exhibit the same reverence when the Word is proclaimed? Are my ears and heart open to receive the Word? What about my posture? When I proclaim the Word am I prepared? Am I audible so the men, the women, and those children old enough to understand can understand?Then all the people went to eat and drink, to distribute portions, and to celebrate with great joy, for they understood the words that had been expounded to them.BLESSED FRANCIS XAVIER SEELOS, PRAY FOR US.