Archives for the month of: October, 2017

In the Gospel for the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus denounces the scribes and Pharisees for their pride.  He teaches his disciples about humility.  “The greatest among you must be your servant.  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23: 11-12).  A humble person knows that all good comes from God and acts accordingly.  Christians thank God for all their blessings: family, health, possessions, and much more.  Inspired by the incredible loving generosity of God, Christians share themselves and what they have with others.  Parents share their lives with their children.  Healthcare workers share their medical skills with the sick.  Neighbors share meals with grief stricken neighbors.  Concerned citizens share their time by advocating for legislation that benefits the working poor, homeless veterans, hungry single-parent families, undocumented migrants, and others in need.  How do you humbly serve others?

 

 

 

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In the Gospel for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus answers the Pharisees’ question about paying taxes.  “Then they handed him the Roman coin.  He said to them, ‘Whose image is this and whose inscription?’  They replied, ‘Caesar’s.’  At that he said to them,  ‘Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God’ “(Matthew 22: 20-21).  Jesus answers his inquisitors that God’s claim on them is greater than  the state’s.  His answer makes me wonder what has a greater claim on me.  Do I trust more in God’s providence more than in my government’s protection?  In my paycheck or possessions?  In myself?  A heart enamored with possessions begets selfishness.  A heart full of gratitude for God’s overwhelming generosity inspires loving care for others.  To whom or what do you belong?

 

In the Gospel for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus tells the Parable of the Marriage Feast.  Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a king who hosted a wedding feast for his son.  Since none of the invited guests showed up, he invited people from the streets.  “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.  The king said to him, ‘My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?’  But he was reduced to silence.  Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’  Many are invited, but few are chosen’ ” (Matthew 22: 11-14).  The king treats this guest harshly.  Following Jesus demands more than accepting his invitation.  Christian conversion is a life long process requiring perseverance and dedication.  With God’s grace, we can accept the invitation daily.  How are your responding to God’s invitation today?

 

In the Gospel for the Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus tells the parable of the two sons.  One refuses to work in the vineyard for his father.  Then he changes his mind.  The other says “yes” and never does.  “[Jesus asks the chief priests and elders] ‘Which of the two did his father’s will?’  They answered, ‘The first.’  Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you’ ” (Matthew 21: 31).  The first son is like the public sinners who know they need repentance.  The second, the faith leaders who think they are righteous already.  I used to feel self righteous about being Catholic.  I did not need to know Jesus as my personal savior.  Pope Francis encourages all Catholics to have a personal encounter with Jesus.  We all need God’s mercy, Catholic or not.  When have you felt self-righteous?  When have you recognized your need for God’s mercy?