In the Gospel for the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael Archangels, Jesus calls Nathaneal as a disciple. Jesus saw him under a fig tree. Nathaneal professes his faith in Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus responds. “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this” (John 1: 50). Nathaneal and all the disciples did see greater things. They witnessed the glory of God in Jesus throughout his public ministry, death, and resurrection. Jesus continues to reveal God’s glory through the love of his disciples. A parent who keeps vigil for a sick child reveals God’s compassion. A married couple reveal God’s faithful love. Anyone who feeds the hungry reveals God’s mercy. A peaceful protester reveals God’s justice. Christians reveal God’s glory in loving service to others according to their gifts and talents. How do you reveal God’s glorious love?
In the Gospel for Wednesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time, Jesus gives his disciples a mission. “[He] summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick” (Luke 9: 1). Jesus empowers the disciples to speak about God’s love and heal the sick. Through Baptism, all Christians have a mission to speak about God’s love and care for those who are hurt. The Holy Spirit empowers us to witness to God’s love by what we say and by what we do. We have a responsibility to share our trust in God’s love with those in need of good news. We have the power from God to tend to those who are sick, frail, depressed, unemployed, or hurt in other ways. Whatever we say or do out of our love for God and others makes a difference. How do you share the power of the love of God?
In the Gospel for Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time, Jesus tells the parable of the lampstand. “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light” (Luke 8: 16). This light is the good news of Jesus about God’s loving mercy. It is not enough for us to see the light and enjoy the benefits of God’s loving mercy. Hearing and understanding Jesus’ message is the first step of conversion. God’s mercy is not our personal possession. God wants us to share it generously with others. We share it by what we say and what we do. We enlighten others by speaking about Jesus’ love and loving others as he did. How do you share the light of God’s love?
In the Reading for Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, St. Paul extolls love as the greatest spiritual gift. He urges the Corinthians to love one another. “[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 12: 7-8a). The love my wife and I share has endured for thirty three years. Whatever we have done, we have tried to do out of love. We have struggled to love in loneliness, sickness, grief, lack of forgiveness, and life’s other hurts. We have also loved in good times like birthdays, holidays, graduations, anniversaries, and new jobs. The love we share in Christ will even endure beyond our graves in all those we have loved. Jesus wants us to love others no matter what. It is essential for Christian life. Love never fails. How do you love others?
In the Gospel for Thursday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time, Jesus preaches love of enemies. “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6: 27-28). Loving one’s enemies flies in the face of the normal human tendency for self-preservation. Even with family and friends, we tend to think of ourselves first. Jesus demonstrated an incredible love for his enemies, even forgiving them for executing him. Baptized in the Spirit, Christians have the help we need to love beyond our own self interests, to love even our enemies. How has God helped you love someone who has injured you?
In the Gospel for Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time, Jesus heals a man possessed by a demon. All are amazed. “For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out” (Luke 4: 36b). Throughout his ministry, Jesus freed people from the oppressive power of evil. By the healing power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus frees us from evil. Jesus gives us courage to face whatever evils we confront. Jesus accompanies us in our crisis whether the evil is unemployment, sickness, a broken family, violence, or others. Jesus’ loving presence reassures us to not be afraid. How does Jesus deliver you from evil?