Meditation for the Day

Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time, August 31

May the Joy and Hope of the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ Enflame Our Hearts and Souls with a Love and a Zeal to Fulfill His Divine Will in All That He Asks of You and Me in Our Daily Journey Through Life.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor…” And then Jesus said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Today, as we enter the final thirteen weeks of Ordinary Time, we shift our Gospel readings from Matthew to Luke. And we notice that the tone of the Gospel shifts to the reality of the Jewish people’s rejection of Jesus’ message and even of His Person.

The audience to whom Luke is writing is primarily Gentile Christians, and Luke focuses on the importance of Jesus’ message as it applies to all people, especially the poor and the sinner.

Luke’s Gospel emphasizes the importance of one’s salvation through Jesus Christ, in fulfillment of God’s Divine plan – a message which gave hope to all those who were treated as outcasts, who were looked down upon and treated condescendingly by the Jewish people.

And it was the Gentiles, those of non-Jewish descent, who needed to be lifted up, who needed to know and believe that there was a God who truly loved them no less than their Jewish brothers and sisters!

So, it would only be reasonable to assume that when the Gentile peoples heard this Gospel read to them for the first time, they were filled with joy when they heard Jesus speaking about Elijah being sent to minister to the needs of “a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon” and Elisha the Prophet cleansing “only Naaman the Syrian” from leprosy – both the widow and Naaman being of Gentile descent.

It is believed that Luke himself may have also been a Gentile, and he was also a constant companion of Saint Paul on his missionary journeys.

And just as Luke would bolster the faith of the Gentile peoples through his Gospel, Paul, too, would build up the faith of those in our First Reading, in which we find him preaching about the newness of their belief in Jesus Christ – in that their faith did not “…rest on human wisdom but on the power of God.”

During the passage of time since our Lord walked amongst us two millennia ago, we have come to not only better understand God’s Truth but have also learned the true wonder of embracing Jesus’ message of love, His teachings on forgiveness and the Gospel message of hope which He has implanted in our hearts.

God calls each one of His children, both Jew and Gentile alike, to become prophets in a world which no longer wishes to hear or embrace God’s Truth. He calls each one of us to become disciples so that we may be witnesses to His Truth through our thoughts, our words and our actions.

The word “Gospel” literally means “good news”. Isaiah had prophesied that the Messiah would come in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring freedom to those oppressed by sin and evil.

Jesus came to set people free from the worst tyranny possible – the tyranny of our slavery to sin and the fear of death. God’s power alone can save us from emptiness and despair, from confusion and error, and from the sorrow of hopelessness.

The Gospel of salvation is “good news” for us today! It is a Gospel which fills us with hope; it is a Gospel which gives meaning and direction to our very lives!

Jesus tells us today that He was sent to “…bring glad tidings to the poor.” Through our Baptism, we have been given new life in Jesus Christ. Through our Confirmation, we have been strengthened by the Holy Spirit to live that “new life” in a world, in a society which has oftentimes closed its heart to the Light of this world.

Nourished and sustained by Eucharist, we are each called to give witness to that Divine Light – a Light which invites each of us, regardless of race, color, creed or religious persuasion, to become co-heirs with Christ Jesus for all eternity!

It was for this very reason that God sent His only Son into the world, “…so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” As a result, our faith teaches us that our God is the fulfillment of all our hopes and desires.

May His Spirit of Truth and Love fill each one of us with the joy and peace which only God can provide! And may the joy and hope of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ enflame our hearts and souls with a love and a zeal to fulfill His Divine will in all that He asks of you and me in our daily journey through life –

– a hope which we can truly claim as ours on this side of eternity!

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, release to the prisoners, To announce a year of favor from the LORD…” (Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 61:1-2a)
  • “[Jesus] said to them, ‘Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.’(Luke 4:21)
  • “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
  • “For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27)
  • “…my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)
  • “They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
  • “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)
  • “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” (Luke 4:18ab)
  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:3-4)

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Prayer for the Day

“You are God: we praise You;
You are the Lord: we acclaim You;
You are the Eternal Father: all creation worships You.

“…Throughout the world, the Holy Church acclaims You:
Father, of Majesty unbounded,
Your True and Only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, Advocate and Guide.

“You, Christ, are the King of glory,
the Eternal Son of the Father.
When You became man to set us free,
You did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

“You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that You will come and be our judge.

“Come then, Lord, and help Your people,
bought with the price of Your own Blood,
and bring us with Your saints to glory everlasting. Amen.”

Te Deum (“To You, O God” – a hymn of praise)

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