Jesus expresses God’s loving for the children of Israel in the Gospel for Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time. “…how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings…” (Luke 13: 34). As God does, Jesus has great compassion for his own people. He compares himself to a mother hen who protects her young. Jesus taught us how to pray to God our Father. He also knows that God is like a mother. God lovingly cares for us as a mother cares for her own children. How is God like a mother to you?
St. Paul writes about new life in Christ in the Reading for Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time. “The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings” (Romans 8:26). God bestows the Spirit on those baptized in Christ. The Spirit even helps us pray. God’s overflowing love in the Spirit enables us to respond with love in spite of our human limitations. God empowers us for good. How does the Spirit come to your aid?
Jesus describes the Kingdom of God in the Gospel for Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time. “It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened” (Luke 13:21). Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to yeast that transforms flour and water into bread. God’s love gradually, imperceptibly, and certainly transforms an imperfect world into a place of peace, love, justice, and harmony. Whenever we yield to God’s love, we contribute to this transformation. No act of love is too small to effect God’s will. This image of the Kingdom of God reassures me that even the simplest of my loving gestures makes a difference: a smile, a word of praise, a prayer, and more. How do you contribute to the reign of God?
St. Paul gives thanks for God’s grace in the Reading for Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:25A). Paul initially acknowledges his human frailty. He does things he knows are wrong. “For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want” (Romans 7:19). I can relate to Paul. I continue to hurt people even though I know better. After thirty two years, I still find myself saying mean things to my wife I do not want to say. Like Paul, I am convinced that I do the good things I do because of God, not because of me. Thank God for the grace of Christ Jesus! How do you experience the incredible gift of God’s loving grace?
Jesus tells the story of the faithful and unfaithful servant in the Gospel for Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time. A boss puts two servants in charge of the household while away on a trip. The faithful servant responsibly manages the other servants in his charge. The unfaithful servant mistreats them. Jesus ends the story with this lesson: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” (Luke 12:48). God is the boss; we are the servants. God has bestowed each one of us with unique gifts and talents to be shared for the common good. What gifts and talents do you use everyday to care for those for whom you are responsible?
Jesus tells the story of the watchful servants in the Gospel for Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time. Jesus praises the servants who wait late into the night for the master’s return from a wedding. They stay awake ready to open the door when he arrives. “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival” (Luke 12:37). As a parent, I can relate to these servants. I have stayed up late waiting for my sons to come home from visits with friends, band trips, dances, and more. I keep vigil because I love them. Jesus want us to have the same loving care for God and for others. He wants us ready to respond with love in whatever ways and in whomever we encounter God. For whom are you waiting with love to open the door?
In the Gospel for Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool. The rich man builds larger barns to store all his grain. He hoards the grain for his future security. Unexpectedly he dies and leaves all his possessions behind. Jesus ends the story with a lesson. “Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God” (Luke 12:21). I wonder whether I am rich in what matters to God. I try to rely on God. I strive to share my possessions with those in need. I pray for a generous heart. How are you rich in what matters to God?
Jesus commissions his disciples in the Gospel for the Feast of Saint Luke. He sends them out two by two to preach the good news. He instructs them to “Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals…” (Luke 10:4). I used to think Jesus was too tough on his disciples. He sent them on their way with no provisions. Now I think Jesus is reassuring them they have all they need. God is with them. Sometimes I worry about not having what it takes to be a good husband, parent, worker, minister, etc. Jesus commission reminds me that God has given me the gifts I need to accomplish his will for me. Jesus is with me. How does God equip you for living a Christian life?
In the Gospel for the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Jesus warns those who do not listen to him. “Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed” (Luke 11:48). Jesus criticizes those who honor God’s spokespersons without listening to them. His own people ignored the prophets when alive; they built tributes to the them after they died. How well are you listening to God’s spokespersons in your life?
Jesus compares himself to Jonah in the Gospel for Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time. He tells the crowd, “there is something greater than Jonah here” (Luke 12: 32). Jesus urges them to pay more attention to him than the Ninevites paid to Jonah. When Jonah preached, the whole town converted. Jesus is greater than Jonah. He invites everyone to generously respond to God. How do you respond with generosity to God’s love?