19th Sunday of the Year – Wisdom for the Journey

Modern Pilgrims

Study:  What do you do to prepare for an upcoming event?  What steps do you take to be ready?

Pray:  What challenges do you face right now?  What do you need to ask from the Lord to be prepared?

Serve:  Is there anyone in your life who could use support at this time?  Perhaps you are being called to be a companion on their journey…

19th Sunday Readings

The readings this week offer insight regarding life as a pilgrimage.  As we journey through this life, with its challenges and blessings, we can look to these readings for guidance:

* The courage to trust in God’s promises [1st]
* God calls us to be his own people [psalm]
* Abraham’s example of faith [2nd]
* Be prepared!  Stay alert and awake! [gospel]

The first reading reminds us that our ancestors put their trust in God’s promises.  As they were led out of Egypt to the Promised Land, the Lord guided and directed them through faith.

The Psalm expresses thanksgiving for the Lord who chooses us to be his own people.  Here it is God who delivers us from death and protects us in times of great danger and crisis.

In the Letter to the Hebrews we see how Abraham’s example of faith is a model for us.  He did not know where God would lead him, nor was he aware that the Lord would raise up a vast number of descendants who claim him as their father in faith.  Indeed, even his son, Isaac, would be a test!

Finally, the Gospel surfaces the themes of preparation and readiness.  The parable of the good servant is a reminder of some basic expectations we carry in this life:

1.  What is my purpose?  (Values & Priorities)
2.  What are my gifts? (Skill, Resources, etc.)
3.  Do I use what I have been given?

It is crucial to note that until we know what is important in life, we cannot adequately prepare for it.  Until we know what are the resources, talents, and gifts we possess, we cannot properly use them with purpose.

If life is indeed a journey, then like Abraham we must travel through times of uncertainty and difficulty – but always with the hope that God is with us.  Our conviction that God will strengthen us for the journey is no guarantee that life will be easy, but it does remind us that we will be given what we need to continue.

The challenge occurs when we reflect on what we truly have been given.  When we recognize just how blessed we are, we are humbled by the expectation of our faith.  For much will be required of the person entrusted with much.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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