7th OCTOBER 2022

Luke 11:15-26 | Church of The Holy Name of Mary


FRIDAY, TWENTY SEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

 

Gal 3: 7-14;                Ps 111: 1-6;                Lk 11: 15-26


 

WE ALL SIN, BUT DIFFERENTLY

 

Jesus has been rejected, denied, and cursed by men. Yet there is enormous evidence that He is just the one He claimed to be. When Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic, the Jewish leaders accused him of blasphemy; when a sinful woman anointed Jesus, a Pharisee was upset that he allowed such a woman to touch him. When he cast out a demon from the mute man the people responded with hard hearts,

 

Today, in the gospel, Jesus is accused of driving out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons. It is difficult to imagine a better deed to expel, to rid their souls of the devil, the instigator of evil, and at the same time, to witness the most ignoble accusation that he is doing it, precisely, by the power of the very devil. It is a ridiculous accusation, which shows the great blindness and envy in the Lord’s accusers. Today, without realizing it, we tend to ignore the right other people have to dissent, to be different and to have their positions, whether different or even in direct opposition to ours.

 

Jesus came down to earth to unite the people and establish His Kingdom. Part of this project was to set people free from the enslavement of Satan who caused them to sin and to suffer. That is why there are many instances in the bible of Jesus casting out demons from individuals, the gospel reading today is an example. Yet some people accused Jesus as an instrument of the prince of demons. Jesus used this occasion to preach about unity in the Kingdom of God. ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ and ‘In union, there is strength’ are old maxims. For the Kingdom of God to be fully realized, we need to stand united with Jesus our Lord and saviour, to crush the effort of the enemy to divide us. Let us stand on guard against disunity among believers, and let us always invoke the name of Jesus to cast out the demons among us and within us.

 


Response: The Lord keeps his covenant ever in mind.


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6th OCTOBER 2022

Parable of the Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-13 Teaching Outline) –  Reformed Baptist Blog

THURSDAY, TWENTY SEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Gal 3: 1-5;                  Lk 1: 69-75;               Lk 11: 5-13


 

PERSISTENCE, FERVENCY, STEADFASTNESS!

 

In today’s gospel, the disciples are taught to pray and Jesus encourages them and teaches them three things in prayer:

a) Persistence – God is pleased with it and we must come to God with boldness and confidence – for others and ourselves – this man did not come for bread for himself but his friend.

b) Fervency – Jesus encourages us in prayer that if God doesn’t answer our prayers instantly, he will in due time, if we continue in prayer, we must pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

c) Steadfastness – Through steadfastness in prayer, we come to greater awareness of God’s presence and His love for us.

All the great saints over the centuries have spoken about the importance of reserving every day a little time to pray. If one stops praying, it is difficult to get back into a rhythm in our life. Among the many saints, Saint Teresa of Avila is known for being in the highest union with God in prayer.

The first reading today talks about justification by faith. St. Paul appeals to the Galatians to remember the experiences of the working of the Spirit upon their souls. Upon becoming Christians, they had received the Spirit, and many partook of the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. Though they had begun life in the Spirit, now they were seeking to be made perfect by the flesh – they had begun well but now they were turning to the law – they were backsliding!

With prayer, the Galatians could pull themselves up. Instead of suffering, they could take up a prayerful life – they lacked a prayerful life which Jesus teaches in the Gospel. Like Zechariah in today’s psalm, the Galatians could again find the mercy of God by being prayerful and praising God – they could straighten things up for themselves by singing the glories of the Lord. They could be reconciled to God and filled with the Holy Spirit through prayer – ask for the Holy Spirit which Jesus encourages in the Gospel.


Response: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited his people.


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5th OCTOBER 2022

What Does Luke 11:1 Mean?

WEDNESDAY, TWENTY SEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Gal 2: 1-2, 7-14;                     Ps 117: 1-2;                Lk 11: 1-4


 

DESIRING GOD THROUGH COMMUNICATION

At the crux of human relationships is the need to commune. If this desire is left unfulfilled, each of us would continue to feel a sense of longing, of bareness. You and I require to give and receive through communication, to feel the best version of ourselves. What else could make us feel noticed and seen, in a world that is so fast-paced and vain?

Communion is God’s communication to us accompanied by our response to him — all in such a way that he is glorified and we are glad. We have been created by God to have communion with him first, and then our fellow beings. We live primarily to give God glory through the words of our mouth, the intentions of our heart and the deeds that spring forth from our will. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him (Col 1:16).

How does God communicate with us? While God often communicates with us in love, he would sometimes come to us with a rod of discipline. But even in our tears, we can rejoice in the Father’s loving discipline (Heb 12:6–11). Communion with God may lay us in ashes or make us leap. But it never destroys our joy. It is our joy (Ps 43:3).

So, how can we communicate with God? The gospel of today offers us the simplest and all-encompassing way of communing with God our loving father. When all words fail us, let us fall back on this universal prayer taught to us by Jesus himself. This address could well be the beginning of a beautiful communication with our maker and continuance of fellowship with our God. He created us, loves us, and wants to hear from us! Let us use the Lord’s Prayer as a way to walk through communicating with God every day. ‘When you say the Our Father, God’s ear is next to your lips’ (St Andre Bessette).


Response: Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel.


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4th OCTOBER 2022

How to Build a House Church Principle #3: One Thing Necessary – Beloved  Creative Studio


TUESDAY, TWENTY SEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi, Religious

 

Gal 6: 14-18 or Gal 1: 13-24;                    Ps 139:1-3,13-15;                   Lk 10: 38-42


 

UNUM NECESSARIUM

 

I think we all believe to a good extent that God knows us and loves us and has great plans for us (Jer 29:11). The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 139) says ‘Lord you have searched me and you know me’. The Lord knows us and this must give us a lot of confidence in paying attention to what he says, trusting in his word and following him. This must take away our reliance on our own ability and even our anxiety about things. The readings today intentionally remind us of this and teach us how to grow in our response to the Lord. We are often tempted to say ‘Lord, I know better what is good for me’ or ‘Lord, I don’t think you understand what I am going through’.

 

Today’s Gospel is about some friends of Jesus, Martha and Mary. They are hosting Jesus and as usual, a crowd gathers there. Jesus begins to teach them and Mary is so immersed in listening to Jesus that she forgets to help her sister Martha with serving the guests. As Martha brings her complaint to Jesus that she is doing all the serving alone, Jesus tells her ‘Martha, I know you are troubled with a lot of things, but one thing is necessary’.

 

Martha, a Jew extends the traditional generous hospitality of her people to Jesus, by preparing an elaborate meal for him, while her sister Mary spent her time talking to him and listening to him. We can minister truly to the needs of others only after welcoming God’s Word into our hearts and minds. The gospel brings to light the Unum necessarium – the one thing necessary is to listen closely to the Lord’s word because this increases our faith. Our faith shapes our response to the Lord, but also how we live our life. Let us take some time to reflect on what the Lord might be saying to us. Do you truly believe that the Lord knows you best and how ready are you to listen to him closely? What are the things that are distracting us from the one thing necessary?

 


Response: Lead me, Lord, in the way everlasting.


Copyright ©2022 ©Springs of Living Water  http://springs.carmelmedia.in

3rd OCTOBER 2022

My Reflections...: Reflection for October 7, Monday; Our Lady of the  Rosary: Luke 10:25-37

MONDAY, TWENTY SEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Gal 1: 6-12;                Ps 111: 1-2, 7-10;                   Lk 10: 25-37


LIVING THE AUTHENTIC GOOD NEWS

Finding that the faithful of Galatia are deserting the Gospel and holding on to other teachings, St Paul expresses his sorrow and begins his defense by showing his divine authority, as an Apostle directly called by God. The community founded by Paul was led astray by other Christian missionaries from Jerusalem who claimed authority and a gospel superior to Paul’s. They taught that to be saved, it was necessary to follow the prescription of the Law of Moses, such as circumcision, the Sabbath and so on. This confused the Galatians and led them to adopt the old observation. Paul recognized that the Galatian acceptance of the old ordinances was a denial of the heart of the Christian faith namely, that we are saved by faith in what God has accomplished, not by something we accomplish. Paul, therefore, reasserts that the gospel that he taught them is the authentic Christian message. ‘The death and resurrection of Christ by which God sets us free’.

Jesus in the gospel today chooses a Samaritan to be the hero of the Parable. The Samaritans were known for their ignorance of the law and the teaching of the rabbis and scribes. The Samaritan represents a man whose mind is not prejudiced and therefore he felt compassion instantly for the wounded man. The Priest and Levite were bound by their rules that they did not dare to come close to the man, fearing he might be dead, and they become unclean. Rules and regulations can kill the compassion which God places in every human heart. Jesus refuses to define who is a neighbour, instead he describes the neighbouring man, the Samaritan who loves; not the object of love but the subject loving. Luke follows this parable with an incident which strikes a balance – while good actions should characterize the lives of disciples, a disciple is not one who acts on instinct only, but one listens to Jesus and learns from him. this is living the Gospel. The Gospel must be preserved in its purity and practised in sincerity.


Response: The Lord keeps his covenant ever in mind


Copyright ©2022 ©Springs of Living Water  http://springs.carmelmedia.in

2nd OCTOBER 2022

83 Planting Seeds Of Faith Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images -  iStock


SUNDAY, TWENTY SEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Hb 1:2-3; 2:2-4; Ps 95; 2 Tm 1:6-8, 13-14; Lk 17:5-10


 

PLANTING AND NURTURING THE SEEDS OF FAITH

 

Faith is the foundation of the Christian life. Jesus taught his disciples to grow in faith, to believe and to entrust themselves increasingly to him, to build their own lives on the rock. For this reason, they asked him “increase our faith!” The liturgy today invites us to live and deepen our faith.

 

‘Now faith is the assurance of the things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’ (Heb 11:1). Faith gives reality and proof of things unseen, treating them as if they were already objects of sight rather than of hope. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, ‘Faith is distinct from all other acts of the intellect. It is defined as assurance, which distinguishes it from opinion, suspicion and doubt; it adheres to things not seen, which distinguishes it from science, whose object is something apparent; and it is directed toward things hoped for, by which the virtue of faith is distinguished from popular notions of faith, which have no reference to the beatitude we hope to attain.’ Faith makes a relationship with God possible. Saint Fulgentius says, ‘Faith is the foundation of everything and the beginning of human salvation. Apart from faith, one can neither be numbered among the sons of God nor obtain the grace of justification. Without faith, every human effort is empty.”

 

In the first reading from the prophet Habakkuk, we see a man who felt deserted by God. In the light of God’s promise to fulfil Habakkuk’s trust in him, we see that the society was marinated in violence, strife and contention amongst the Jewish people themselves, and not with their enemies. We can notice the extreme sensitivity of the Prophet Habakkuk about sin. He keeps praying and it only gets worse. People twist the Word of God to suit their agendas and they get away with it.

 

In the midst of all this, he finally receives an answer from God: there is still a vision; justice will come; in the meantime, the righteous live by their faith. He was instructed to write God’s answer on tablets so that whoever reads it may hastily go to proclaim what s/he had read. However, the last phrase may mean ‘write it plainly’, so that anyone who ‘runs his eyes’ over the tablet will read it easily. The righteous man shall live, enjoy deliverance and abundance of life by his faith, or better faithfulness; that is moral steadfastness. A person who has faith is a person who trusts and who can be trusted. The prophet teaches us that a person who has been made righteous by God lives and survives the coming ordeal by faith. The believer trusts God in everything.

 

In the second reading, the Apostle Paul also speaks of faith. Timothy is asked to have faith and, through it, to exercise charity. Paul reminds Timothy of the grace (gift) of priestly ministry which he received in fullness when Paul and a gathering of elders ordained him as bishop by the imposition of hands, and to rekindle it in faith. Paul urges him to make use of this divine help to complete his mission in Ephesus. Timothy is urged to yield himself to the supernatural strength of the Spirit, ‘for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control’, and thus be an effective teacher and shepherd. ‘Zeal is required to stir up the gift of God, for it lies within our power to kindle or quench this grace. By laziness and carelessness it is extinguished and by attentiveness and diligence it is kept aflame’ (Saint John Chrysostom).

 

Seeds are meant to be planted, so that even more lovely things can grow. When we plant the seeds of our faith they cause more faith to grow, and the acts of faith, which are God’s love, justice and mercy. When the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith, He tells them that if their faith was the size of a mustard seed, it was enough to work wonders. Faith, like a seed, grows based on the efforts that we make to help it to grow. To keep the flame of faith alive is the duty of every disciple of Christ until it sets the whole world on fire. Disciples should not expect congratulations for their service. Their work is important but not beyond the call of Christian duty to grow in faith, and no one can fully repay God for his gifts. May we grow in faith and in our faithfulness to the Holy Spirit.

 


Response: O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts.


Copyright ©2022 ©Springs of Living Water  http://springs.carmelmedia.in

1st OCTOBER 2022

Thérèse of Lisieux, Saint of the 'Little Way'

SATURDAY, TWENTY SIXTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux, Virgin & Doctor

 

Is 66: 10-14;               Ps 131: 1-3;                Mt 18:1-5


 

DOING LITTLE THINGS WITH GREAT LOVE

 

Therese Martin was born in Alencon (France) in 1873. At the age of fifteen, with the special permission of Pope Leo XIII, she entered the Carmel at Lisieux. She lived for a little over nine years and died at the age of 24 of tuberculosis. She is popularly known as the ‘Little Flower’. The Church has named her the patroness of the missions, because of her special love, prayers and sacrifices in support of missionaries. In her biography ‘The Story of a Soul’, she wrote: ‘I am a very little soul, who can only offer very little things to the Lord’.

The readings of the day highlight some aspects of the spirituality of Saint Therese, especially her vocation in Carmel, ‘love’. In the first reading, we see how God fulfils the promise of comforting Zion. The promise of God that he would personally and gently lead “those that have young” finds its dramatic focus in daughter Zion. God becomes a mother to the people of Zion. In the gospel, Jesus exhorts us to be simple like little children and to acquire childlike qualities to enter the kingdom of heaven. Thérèse was thus convinced: ‘I had to remain little and become this more and more’- in order to be filled with God’s motherly love.

Therese was convinced that every occasion in life is an opportunity to become an instrument of love. Whether when she was falsely accused of breaking a jar, or when she was irritated at prayer by the annoying noise made by a fellow nun, Therese offered it for the love of Jesus as heavenly music. Whenever Therese faced such occasions, instead of getting angry or irritated, she would respond with her sweet smile. Her secret was that she saw Jesus in everyone’s heart. For Therese to be childlike was to have a trustful openness to God, full confidence and utter abandonment. Therese reminds us what the essence of the Christian message is: that God is love; and that we are called to share that love. May Saint Therese obtain for us the grace to be little and childlike.


Response: Keep my soul in peace at your side, O Lord.


Copyright ©2022 ©Springs of Living Water  http://springs.carmelmedia.in