Jun 9 – Memorial for St. Ephrem of Syria, deacon and Doctor of the Church
St. Ephrem (306-373) was baptized at age 18. He helped to evangelize Nisibis, Mesopotamia. He may have attended the Council of Nicaea in 325. He was a deacon and preacher, and had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In 363 Nisibis was ceded to Persia, and great persecution of Christians began. St. Ephrem led an exodus of the faithful to Edessa, where he founded a theological school. He helped introduce the use of hymns in public worship, wrote poems and hymns, and used them to fight Gnosticism and Arianism. In 1920, St. Ephrem was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church.
– Patron Saint Index
2 Cor 3:4-11
…not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved.
Back in school, we would do science experiments by following a set of instructions. In many of these cases, we didn’t even know why we were doing what we were doing. I remember one time, we were told to fill up a glass with water. We were then told to cover it with a waterproof card. After that, we were asked to turn the glass upside down while pressing on to the card. And then we were told to let go. At that time, a lot of us were afraid of the mess that might happen but our teacher assured us to follow first, and then to see what happens. To our amazement, the card stayed stuck to the glass and not a drop was spilt.
There was definitely a lot of interesting science going on there, but our teacher didn’t tell us as she gave us the instructions. We probably wouldn’t understand, or would remain in disbelief, or it might take a long time for us to finish the lesson since we’d ask a lot of questions. But maybe, one of the saddest things (if she had prepared us) was we would miss out on the amazement.
Reflecting on God’s Law, I know that there are times when we might question if it’s really the best thing to do at that specific situation we are experiencing. What I like about this line is that it assures us that every Law which God has written has its purpose. And at times when I hesitate to follow the Law of God, because my human mind and opinion goes against it, I could always remind myself that God has a purpose for this. That’s an added motivation for me to do the right thing.
To be honest, at the times when I decided to follow God’s Law, even if I didn’t understand why I should be doing it in my life, I have always been amazed at the results. It’s like God telling me to follow Him first, and He’ll show me something beyond what I could think of. I was once invited by a close friend to attend his baptism of conversion from Catholicism to a non-Catholic Christian group. It was very painful to let him know that I wouldn’t be attending because it contradicted with our faith. We had a falling out for awhile but eventually, we became friends again, and we had a deeper respect and understanding on where we stood with our faith. So after all that, it ended well.
Even though following God’s Law may be difficult at times, or we may not understand how these Laws are applicable to us at some point in our lives, let us trust that these Laws are meant for our good. And then we’ll see His glory. I pray that all of us will remember this when we are faced with the difficult decision of abiding by the Law of God, or following what we think is best.
So let us take this time to reflect on the times where we stood by God even though it’s difficult, and maybe discern how much better we are right now because of our decision.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Dear Lord, grant me the courage to live according to your Law even when it’s difficult and I may not understand it.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for giving us the Law so we could live our lives meaningfully.