Jesus offers two examples to show how with God’s help a small action on our part leads to big changes in our lives, inviting us to consider what small adaptations we can make to grow in our faith today.
We see some common themes in the readings this week:
1st Reading – Love the Lord your God…heart, soul and strength
Psalm – “I love you, Lord, my strength.”
2nd Reading – Jesus is forever our high priest
Gospel – The Greatest Commandments…Love God and neighbor
At first glance we might easily take these ideas for granted; most of us have grown up with our Christian faith and have heard these messages from childhood. But what happens when we pause and reflect?
God loves us, even when we make mistakes.
God loves us, and invites us back into right relationship.
God loves us, and keeps offering opportunities to grow in love.
God loves us, and was born, lived, suffered, died and rose for us!
Loving God is not some melancholy obligation! The Lord made us for love and through the gift of faith we are invited to grow in love with God and one another. Simply put, each and every day we have the opportunity to become more and more like Christ – our teacher and example of love.
How can you foster God’s love in your life today? How can you find ways to express and implement love in your relationships? Our commandment to love finds its source, strength and glory in the love that God has for us. May we receive the Lord’s love for us today as we share that love in all aspects of our lives.
When Jesus heals Bartimaeus, he does more than simply offer him sight. An encounter with Christ brings us into a direct experience of God’s grace and power; how we respond reveals our recognition of the many ways we see the Lord at work in our lives today.
Our lives offer us an opportunity to grow and flourish in the grace of God. However, this chance to be spiritually fruitful lasts until the time when the Lord calls us into eternity, and from that moment there is no turning back.
The end of today’s passage from the Gospel of Luke offers a powerful reminder: we are called to live the blessing of our lives to the fullest extent. What’s more, we will be judged, not in comparison to others, but in comparison to the gifts that God has placed within us.
The Lord exhorts the disciples to be ready and prepared. Each day is a precious gift, calling us to be present to the people in our lives as we strive to take care of any unfinished business. That way, when the Master calls, we will be quick to respond.
The readings this week reveal a common theme of divine power:
1st – The Lord delivers his people
Psalm – “The Lord has done great things for us”
2nd – Christ the great high priest
Gospel – Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus
Throughout these scriptures the Lord comes with dynamic energy: liberating, saving, healing and redeeming. This is Good News! In the midst of the challenges and struggles of human life we find Jesus coming to us – meeting us where we are – with the transformative power of his grace.
With this power in mind, I would suggest two points for consideration this week:
What in my life needs to receive the Lord’s power?
How can I share my life to give the Lord’s power?
Let’s start with receiving. Where in my life am I wounded, hurting, or helpless? Do I identify with Bartimaeus, calling upon the Lord for pity? If so, our prayer (in private and at Mass) can be directed to heaven…asking for the grace we need to keep going.
Giving means we allow the Lord’s power to work through us. Giving requires that we see the needs of those around us, determine a proper response, and act in a manner worthy of Christ. We become the Lord’s hands and feet in service to others; our words speak encouragement and hope.
God continues to work with power in our world today, giving us all the opportunity to open our hearts to the endless grace of Christ. May we draw near to the Lord with confidence and allow his strength to work through us as we touch the hearts of those we meet.