Jesus teaches about the end of the world in the Gospel for Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time. “All that you see here– the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down” (Luke 21: 6). Jesus foresees a crisis at the end of the world. He urges his disciples to prepare for something as catastrophic as the collapse of a stone building. Buildings, savings accounts, and other works of human hands do not last. They will not save us. Reliance on the work of God’s hands will. How does God strengthen you in times of crisis?
Jesus tells the Parable of the Sums of Money in the Gospel for Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time. The story goes like this. A wealthy man gave his servants a small sum of money to invest while he was out of the country. Upon his return, he promoted the servants who gained a return on their investments. “Well done, good servant[s]! You have been faithful in this very small matter” (Luke 19: 17). Jesus is not giving banking advice. He wants us to invest our time, treasure, and talent in loving others. No matter how small the task, Jesus wants us to invest ourselves for God’s sake. Parents see in their loving adult children the accumulative effects of their small acts of kindness towards them. Every investment of ourselves in love makes a difference. God knows our loving investments are good. In what have you invested yourself for God’s sake?
Jesus cures a blind beggar in the Gospel for Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time. The beggar pleads. “Lord, please let me see” (Luke 18:41). Jesus answers. “Have sight; your faith has saved you” (Luke 18:42). [The beggar] “immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God” (Luke 18:43a). I am spiritually blinded. Jealously, resentment, and other hurts keep me from seeing God in my life. For what spiritual blindness do you want God’s healing?
Jesus answers a question about the Kingdom of God in the Gospel for Thursday of the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time. “For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:21). Jesus acknowledges the power of God at work in him. As the Body of Christ, God is still powerfully among us. God is present every time we offer healing comfort to others and others the same. Our love makes a difference. Consider the gratitude of a grieving family member, a sick friend, or a troubled stranger for a kind word. The reign of God is among us. How do you promote the reign of God?
Jesus heals the lepers in the Gospel for the Memorial of St. Francis Cabrini. Then he sends them to the high priest. “And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him” (Luke 17:15-16). I need healing too. I get discouraged when I pay too much attention to the things in my life that go wrong. Giving thanks to God for the love bestowed on me by my family and friends restores my ability to love. We are created to give glory to God. For what do you have to give glory to God?
The Sage reflects on life after death in the Reading for the Memorial of Saint Josaphat. “But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them” (Wisdom 3: 1). I believe that my deceased parents, family, and friends are in the hands of God. I believe all those who die in Christ will experience life afterwards. I trust in God’s loving care for me even after death. Thanks be to God! What difference does your belief in life after death make?
Jesus teaches about forgiveness in the Gospel for the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours. Jesus advises his disciples to forgive without limit. “And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him” (Luke 17:4). My spouse teaches me forgiveness. I grow more in love for her every time I forgive her. Our forgiveness for each other throughout the marriage has increased our compassion for one another, ourselves, and others. How do you forgive others? Yourself?
Jesus tells the parable of the Lost Sheep in the Gospel for Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time. The Shepherd leaves his entire flock vulnerable to find one lost sheep. He is overjoyed when finding the lost sheep. ” ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep’ ” (Luke 15: 6). A reasonable shepherd might have just taken the loss. Jesus compares God to the good shepherd. “I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance” (Luke 15: 7). God’s love is overwhelming. God cares so deeply for each and everyone of us especially if we are lost. God’s love is beyond comprehension. Do you rejoice in God’s love for everyone who is lost or found?
Paul gives instructions on Christian living in the Reading for Tuesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time. He insists on the right motive for the Christian life. “Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord” (Romans 12: 11). He urges genuine love, mutual respect, concern for the needs of others, and love for enemies. How do your serve the Lord?