We all have opportunities, great and small, to make a difference in the the lives of others. With God’s grace we are empowered to go out into the world everyday, proclaiming the Kingdom of God as we work together.
Monthly Archives: August 2016
The encounter between Jesus and the man suffering from a demon reveals the power and authority which Christ has on earth and in heaven – inviting us to welcome his strength into our hearts, to bring the grace we need to live as his disciples.
Study: Reflect on a truly difficult time in your life. Where did you find the strength to continue?
Pray: Is there a challenging situation in your life right now? Ask the Lord for grace and wisdom.
Serve: How can you help someone in a tight spot today? How can you help them carry their cross?
There is a sobering element in the readings this week that focuses on the cost of discipleship. We commonly speak of “carrying the Cross” as a way of understanding how our sacrifices and burdens become transformed when we participate in the Cross of Christ.
The first reading from the book of Wisdom reminds us that our mortal natures cannot fathom the breadth and depth of God’s plan. We rely on the Lord, and we trust that through the power of the Holy Spirit God reveals the path of our lives – and provides us with the strength for the journey.
The psalm response “In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge” helps us understand that when times get tough we turn to Jesus. He is the source of our strength, and with his grace we find a safe place from which we can prepare our hearts for the demands of the day.
Paul’s letter to Philemon touches upon our human weakness. Paul, imprisoned for his faith, is sending back a runaway slave (Onesimus) to his master – urging Philemon to accept his former servant with kindness as a brother in the Lord. Paul, Onesimus, and Philemon must all trust in the Lord for the strength to do what is right, even when it is difficult.
Finally, the Gospel speaks bluntly about the cost of discipleship. The price might be our family, our relationships, our possessions…yet through it all the Lord affirms that his grace empowers us to carry our Cross. For indeed, we all have crosses, and we can face them with hope – knowing that the Lord, who carried his Cross, will help us with our own.
Through honest awareness, daily prayer, and a grateful heart we can see both the goodness and sinfulness of life as we cultivate humility in our souls.
Three people were given gifts, but their responses were different – reminding us that while we all receive different blessings in this life, the Lord asks that we use them to the best of our ability.
Continuing the theme of being awake, alert, and prepared…Jesus shares a parable to help us sort out wisdom from foolishness.
Jesus offers a parable, reminding us to stay awake and alert so that we are always prepared for whatever might happen in life.
The apostles – with all their failures and shortcomings – were known by God…and still called to follow Christ. We, too, can draw near to Jesus, not because we are perfect, but because the Lord knows us and invites us to receive his grace.
Life is filled with distractions and can throw us curve balls in a moment’s notice. Our solution? Hold fast to Jesus Christ!
Study: Reflect on a person who loves selflessly. What qualities do you see in their behavior toward others?
Pray: Ask the Lord for the awareness to see more clearly the needs of others, and the grace to respond with love.
Serve: How might you make a sacrifice to help someone? How might you let go of what you want in order to assist another in need?
The theme of humility surfaces throughout the readings this week. Check this out:
- 1st Reading – “My child, conduct your affairs with humility.”
- Psalm – “God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.”
- 2nd Reading – We draw near to Jerusalem, where Jesus and the angels dwell.
- Gospel – “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
What does humility mean? What does it mean to say that a person is humble? The word is often misunderstood and misused, and yet it is an important concept in the Scriptures and Church teaching.
At it’s heart, humility is about our perspective of ourselves against a larger background. We are not the center of the universe! Rather, we understand that we exist in relationship to the Lord and one another.
God is the center and origin of our lives, from which we derive all grace and blessings. We are sustained in the mind of God, and invited to love the Lord with all our heart and mind, body and soul. For remember: the Lord loved us first, and out of love gave his Son to save us from our sins.
Yet the relationship is not just between ourselves and the Lord. We also exist in relationship to one another. We are part of a great communion of souls – both living and dead – and we are invited to grow in love of those around us.
Humility arises when we see ourselves clearly in the light of these relationships. We understand that our needs and wants are always set in the context of other (often far greater) concerns. When this happens we grow in awareness of how our lives interact and weave together, fostering communication, cooperation, and respect.