< <  

Saturday, August 9, 2003

  > >

St. Edith Stein

Deuteronomy 6:4-13
Psalm 18:2-4, 47, 51
Matthew 17:14-20

View Readings
Similar Reflections

creative ideas

"Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today." —Deuteronomy 6:5-6

The book of Deuteronomy emphatically proclaims God's law and gives us creative ways of remembering the law. We are to drill the commandments into our children (Dt 6:7), including catechism or Bible memory verses. We should speak of God's law constantly, at home or in the car, at work or recreation (Dt 6:7). We are to wear Bible bracelets and headbands (phylacteries) (Dt 6:8). We should decorate our houses to express God's law, especially using our doorposts, gates, dashboards, mirrors, refrigerators, and bumpers (Dt 6:9). Believe it or not, Bible bumper stickers are based on Deuteronomy.

The efforts of Deuteronomy are a noble, creative attempt which didn't completely work. This is not to say that all these ideas are bad and not to be used. But very simply, works don't work. Our human efforts don't accomplish salvation. "We conceived and writhed in pain, giving birth to wind; salvation we have not achieved for the earth, the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth" (Is 26:18). Only faith in Jesus moves our mountains; only faith in Jesus does the impossible (Mt 17:20). Deuteronomy was right in the first place: "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone!" (Dt 6:4)

Prayer:  Jesus, You are my only Hope, but the only Hope I need.

Promise:  "Jesus reprimanded him, and the demon came out of him. That very moment the boy was cured." —Mt 17:18

Praise:  St. Edith, a Jewish intellectual, surrendered her misconception about the Messiah, converted to the Catholic faith, and joyfully followed Jesus as her Lord.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, February 27, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2003