READINGS for 2007-10-30
THE PRINTED WORD
“It is like a mustard seed that a person took and planted in the garden.” – Luke 13:19
I have two friends in the parish who regularly visit sick parishioners. I used to share that desire with them – but mine has remained a desire, while theirs has become reality.
To be honest, I envy them because they have the time to do it almost every day after the morning Mass. Not only that, they serve as lector and lay minister in our parish. In almost every wake in the parish or nearby funeral chapel, they are there. Really, they do what God has commissioned us to do: to be His hands today.
And I, what am I doing? In the last two years, my parish activities have diminished.
Work has taken much of my time. My hours off work are spent for my writing assignments in Kerygma, which have doubled in number in the last couple of years.
The printed word is my mustard seed.
When allowed to take root in one’s heart, it can yield a life story that can inspire other lives. I don’t have to envy my friends. I just have to follow my own road, the one that the Lord has set before me. TessVA.
Is there a mustard seed that God could be asking you to scatter?
Lord, may I always value the small deeds that I can do lovingly in Your name, even if they are not that visible to the world.
Paul makes a huge statement here regarding the fact that he thinks that any suffering we may endure in this life is incomparable to the glory that awaits us in the next life! I think this is the truth that must underlie the faith of the martyrs. It is only a truth such as this that could give anyone the strength to forsake their earthly life in the hope and belief of eternal life with God in heaven.
18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. 19 For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; 20 for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; 23 and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.
P S A L M
Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
R: The Lord has done marvels for us.
1 When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing. (R) Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3 The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad indeed. (R) 4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the torrents in the southern desert. 5 Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. (R) 6 Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying theirsheaves. (R)
G O S P E L
It is the lives of Christians that must give witness to the nature of the Kingdom of God as we are the only ones capable of doing this! As Christians we are to be a leaven in the midst of the world. We cannot afford to withdraw from all human affairs into some sort of bunker mentality in order to protect ourselves from the influences of the world. We have to engage the world daily and seek to bring Christian influence wherever we may be. This is our vocation. This is our calling – to minister Christ to all whom we meet.
18 Jesus said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? 19 It is like a mustard seed that a person took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.” 20 Again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 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.”
thank You Lord for:
As Christians we are to be a leaven in the midst of the world.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Luke 2-3
WHAT IS CHRISTIAN HOPE?
There are many false understandings of the true nature of Christian hope.
Most of them tend to see hope as something like a wish. “I hope to be saved — I wish to be saved” are almost interchangeable in terms of this understanding. However, this is not Christian hope. Christian hope is not yet a reality in our lives but it is the next best thing! It is the sure knowledge that whatever it is we are hoping for is going to take place. It is not just wishing it to happen, but living in the sure knowledge that one day God will bring it to completion.
This sort of hope is perhaps best understood in relation to our knowledge of salvation. It is not a matter of dispute that God has done all that is necessary for our salvation, thus we can know that we will be saved provided we do not renounce our Christian faith in any sort of definitive and final way. Therefore we say we hope in our salvation, knowing that it will happen provided we remain faithful to God by avoiding serious sin. This sort of hope ought to be the basis of our daily Christian living, providing us with the sure foundation to live lives of faith and trust in God.
Our hope in our salvation has a sureness to it that takes it beyond the realm of wishing for something in the way, for example, we might wish or hope to win the lottery. In the case of salvation, the lottery has already been drawn in our favor and you and I and everyone are winners. All that remains is that we come and collect the prize! This is where the endurance Paul speaks about at the end of today’s passage comes to the fore. It is not necessarily an easy task to remain faithful to this hope in salvation as there are numerous temptations out there in the world. We have to set our eyes on the prize and not allow them to deviate to the left or to the right. This is where we need to pray for constancy and obedience to God’s will and call upon our lives. Fr. Steve T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Where does my greatest hope lie? What are the things I am hoping for in my life? Are any of them as sure as the promise of salvation God has given to each one of us?
Holy Spirit, open my heart to receive the fullness of the truth into my life. Never allow me to doubt in any of the promises of Jesus and help me to entrust my life fully to Him in the sure hope of my salvation.
St. Maximus, martyr, pray for us.
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