Reflection Date: August 12, Saturday of the 18th week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, religious
Daily Readings: First reading: Deuteronomy 6:4–13; Gospel: Matthew 17:14–20
When someone asks for your ID, you usually reach for your driver's license or some other form of identification. And while that will reveal some basic information, like your age or address, it doesn't disclose who you are. That's because your core identity is tied to your relationships. You're a wife, a husband, a parent, a son, or a daughter. Your identity is deeply rooted in the people you love.
The Israelites' identity centered on their love of the one true God, the One who had made a covenant with them. Today's first reading from Deuteronomy makes this clear. It begins with what is known as the Shema, a prayer that is named after its first word: "Hear" (Deuteronomy 6:4). Recited every morning and evening, it was the Israelites' most important prayer. It was so important, in fact, that faithful Jews began to carry it with them in small boxes called phylacteries, which they tied to their arms during prayer. This served as a constant reminder that they were God's special possession, the people he had led out of slavery in Egypt and brought to "the land he swore to your fathers" (6:10).
Just as the Israelites found their identity in their love for God, so we also draw our identity from loving the Lord with our whole heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). As we give ourselves to the Lord in this way, we discover who we truly are: sons and daughters of our heavenly Father and brothers and sisters in Christ. From this core identity flows everything else, including our decisions regarding how to live, what to value, and how to care for one another. Today, imitate the Israelites by pausing once or twice to declare your love for God. Then be still and receive the love he has for you. Make this a daily habit, and you will never forget who you are and what you were made for!
"Father, let me never lose sight of who I really am: your beloved son or daughter."
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.