21st Sunday of the Year – Calling all the nations

Study:  Consider a time when you were personally invited to participate in an event.  How did it feel?  How did you respond?

Pray:  Is there a difficult situation or decision confronting you right now?  Ask the Lord for guidance and wisdom.

Serve:  Are there people in your life who are struggling to respond to a circumstance in life?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 21st Sunday of the Year

Here are some key points that surface in the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading – The Lord comes “to gather nations of every language.”
  • Psalm – “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.”
  • 2nd Reading – Consider difficulties and trials as “discipline” in the faith.
  • Gospel – People will come from east/west, north/south to recline in the Kingdom of God.

A crucial theme emerges from the first reading, psalm and Gospel around the global call to all nations to draw near to the kingdom of God.  Language, race, color, and creed are not obstacles but rather variations of the diversity of God’s creation.  Simply put, all people are called to draw near to the Lord.  The invitation is open to everyone.

Of course, not everyone will listen and respond.  Some will reject the message, others will get caught up in distractions, while still others will pursue things that are contrary to a life in Christ.  Thus it is crucial to note that while all are invited, each person has the freedom to choose his or her own unique path in life.

The second reading to the Hebrews helps us to see the challenges of life as a form of discipline – where we face obstacles and grow stronger in God’s grace – which helps us grow as disciples.  Here the focus is not that life will be easy, but rather that in our trials we draw closer to Jesus Christ and become more completely sons and daughters of God.

How is the Lord calling you today, and what will be your response?  Where are the challenges in your life…and how will you respond?  We recognize that God’s invitation and daily difficulties come to all of us.  Today we reflect on how we respond to the Lord in a faithful, vibrant way.

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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