July 7, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Rose Garden: a Sunday Scriptures blog

Perhaps you remember the classic country crossover song that begins: “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.” Imagine God the Father speaking these lines to Ezekiel, Paul and Jesus in our three Scriptures today. Ezekiel, in our Hebrew Scripture, is being sent to prophesy to the Israelites who are “hard of face and obstinate of heart … a rebellious house.” Paul the Apostle has some sort of physical affliction that is embarrassing — a “thorn in the flesh” that keeps him from being “elated” or self confident; so he is forced to face “weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints.” And Jesus, when he returns to his hometown to preach, is “pooh-poohed” because he does not have any “pedigree:” He’s not a priest, or a pharisee, or anyone important, but just a village boy everybody knows, so why listen to him? These Scriptures are so human. We have to learn while young that life truly is not a rose garden. Becoming a person of character, someone who will persist in doing the right thing and choosing good no matter what, means doing what today’s Scripture people do. They speak even when they are laughed at or ridiculed. They act and speak even when they feel weak or embarrassed or discounted. When our children encounter thorns among the roses of life, it’s important to help them understand how we ourselves have dealt with our own thorns while staying true to what God asks of us. So — how have you done that in your life?

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia; photo by Mergulhando Na Biblia

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