Study: Think about a best friend or cherished family member. What qualities do you find particularly precious?
Pray: Is there a relationship in your life in need of healing? Ask the Lord for grace, wisdom, and guidance to make it happen.
Serve: Is there a relationship in your life that needs to be renewed? What can you do to strengthen the connection?
Mass Readings – 17th Sunday of the Year
A thumbnail sketch of the readings this week looks something like this:
- 1st Reading – Abraham haggles with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah
- Psalm – “Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.”
- 2nd Reading – We were buried in baptism and risen with Christ through his Cross
- Gospel – The Lord’s prayer, a friend & neighbor, and a father & son
In all of these readings we see the power of relationships at work touching hearts and changing lives. We are not meant to walk through this life (or the next) alone; rather, God calls us into communion and invites us to deepen the connections we have with the Lord and one another. Looking at it this way, the readings point out that a relationship with God makes many things possible:
- Abraham pleads and negotiates with God to try to save the people.
- The Psalmist proclaims the Lord’s help in time of trial.
- Our baptism connects us to Christ’s saving death & resurrection.
- We can call God “father” and request, give, and seek for what we need.
Our relationship with the Lord is made possible through Jesus. For remember, God makes it possible for us to draw near, and God invites us to enter into this very unequal relationship to raise us up as the Lord’s sons & daughters. We’ve been “allowed in” to this intimate and tender connection with Christ.
And thus we are called to strengthen our relationships in two distinct ways – with the Lord and with the people in our lives. That means we are called to consider how we might spend a little quality time building and strengthening our connections. With the Lord that means Prayer, Sacraments, Service, and a Call to Holiness. With other people it means forgiveness, charity, “wasting time” with loved ones in wholesome recreation, and seeking to bring out the best in one another.
And if something is wounded or broken…if a relationship is in need of healing – then ask the Lord for the grace to make it happen! Remember: the Lord calls us into relationships. May we take the gift of today to strengthen these connections in our lives.