August 4 : Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Fool’s Vanity

July 31st, 2013

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Trust in God - as the Rock of our salvation, as the Lord who made us His chosen people, as our shepherd and guide. This should be the mark of our following of Jesus. We can harden our hearts in ways more subtle but no less ruinous. We can put our trust in possessions, squabble over earthly inheritances, kid ourselves that what we have we deserve, store up treasures and think they’ll afford us security, rest. All this is “vanity of vanities,” a false and deadly way of living, as this week’s First Reading tells us. This is the greed that Jesus warns against in this week’s Gospel. The rich man’s anxiety and toil expose his lack of faith in God’s care and provision. That’s why Paul calls greed “idolatry” in the Epistle this week. Mistaking having for being, possession for existence, we forget that God is the giver of all that we have, we exalt the things we can make or buy over our Maker (see Romans 1:25). Jesus calls the rich man a “fool” - a word used in the Old Testament for someone who rebels against God or has forgotten Him (see Psalm 14:1). We should treasure most the new life we have been given in Christ and seek what is above, the promised inheritance of heaven. We have to see all things in the light of eternity, mindful that He who gives us the breath of life could at any moment - this night even - demand it back from us.

July 28 : Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Asked and Answered

July 25th, 2013

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Though we be “but dust and ashes,” we can presume to draw near and speak boldly to our Lord, as Abraham dares in this week’s First Reading. The mystery of prayer, as Jesus reveals to His disciples in this week’s Gospel, is the living relationship of beloved sons and daughters with their heavenly Father.  Our prayer is pure gift, made possible by the “good gift” of the Father - the Holy Spirit of His Son. It is the fruit of the New Covenant by which we are made children of God in Christ Jesus (see Galatians 4:6-7; Romans 8:15-16). Jesus teaches His disciples to persist in their prayer, as Abraham persisted in begging God’s mercy for the innocent of Sodom and Gomorrah. This intriguing story of Abraham interceding for Sodom is not really about a numbers game but about the significance of salvation for the righteous in a corrupt community. Authentic prayer opens us up to the action of God's Spirit, bringing us in line with God's desires, and making us into true disciples, obedient to Jesus and to the Father who has sent him. Prayer becomes one of the ways by which we follow Jesus in the Christian life.

July 21 st :16th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Serving God and Serving Neighbour

July 17th, 2013

 

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Last Sunday we were shown through the Parable of the Good Samaritan how important it is to serve our neighbour : "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice". And in today's Gospel Jesus completes that by showing how important it is to serve God and give Him our fullest attention by highlighting Mary who was at His feet. Martha stands for the service to the Neighbour while Mary stands for the service to God. Thus we need to be both Martha and Mary.

July 14 th : Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: What We Must Do

July 10th, 2013

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In today’s Gospel we are given the summary of Christian belief: Love God & Love Neighbour. This command is nothing remote or mysterious - it’s already written in our hearts, in the book of sacred Scripture: “You have only to carry it out,” Moses says in this week’s First Reading. Jesus tells His interrogator the same thing: “Do this and you will live.” -The scholar, however, wants to know where he can draw the line. That’s the motive behind his question: “Who is my neighbor?”. In his compassion, the Samaritan in Jesus’parable reveals the boundless mercy of God - who came down to us when we were fallen in sin, close to dead, unable to pick ourselves up. Like the Samaritan, He pays the price for us, heals the wounds of sin, pours out on us the oil and wine of the sacraments, entrusts us to the care of His Church, until He comes back for us. Because His love has known no limits, ours cannot either. We are to love as we have been loved, to do for others what He has done for us - joining all things together in His Body, the Church. This is the love that leads to eternal life, the love Jesus commands today of the scholar, and of each of us - “Go and do likewise.”

July 7th : 14th Sunday in the Ordinary Time: I have a mission

July 4th, 2013

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St. Luke is unique in recording a mission of the 72 in addition to a mission of the Twelve. God has given us life and brought us to this world for a definite purpose. We are given some definite service and a mission to fulfil. "Somehow I am necessary for His purposes" says John Henry Cardinal Newman. Have you realized the purpose for which God gave you life? Have you identified the mission entrusted to you? Are you doing something to accomplish that mission?

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