Meditation for the Day

Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time, September 2

May We Always Be Filled with Heartfelt Gratitude for All the Gifts Which God Has Chosen to Bestow upon Each of Us, Including Especially the Growth of Our Faith Which Fills Us with an Enduring Hope and an Everlasting Joy.

“Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth.”

Saint Paul’s words, which we find in today’s First Reading, teach us that the growth of faith is the work of God alone, for faith is truly a gift from God, freely given to His children. Yet, as I have written about many times in the past, it is our free-will choice to be opened to and receptive of His gifts, embracing that which God freely offers.

And in our life of faith which we freely choose to live, God asks each one of us to be open to His Spirit within us, thereby becoming His Presence in the world around us. He asks each of us to become sowers of the seed, to water and nurture its growth in those we know and love.

But we have no power over another person’s heart, no power over his or her God-given gift of free will. Only that person can be opened to and receptive of the grace with which God wishes to bestow upon him or her. And it is only that person who can freely choose to either be opened to His grace or remain closed to this gift of faith with which he or she has been given.

I am sure most of us who are either parents or grandparents remember when we first started to teach our children or grandchildren about the wonders of our faith. When reflecting upon this, I recalled an occasion when my wife and I would take the time and show our granddaughters how to make the Sign of the Cross, and they would try to copy what we were doing, but it always came out in reverse.

They would start with the head, then the heart, but then they would always go to the right shoulder first, then the left – always opposite what we were showing them. It took me awhile to realize that they were copying what they were seeing; only what they saw was a mirrored image of the blessing we were teaching.

What we thought was very simple for us to teach became something very confusing for them, no matter how many times we tried to explain it, until we took the time to face the same way they were facing – where our left became their left, and our right became their right.

Learning something new, no matter how simple or straight forward it might seem to the person teaching, is not always easy to learn for the listener or the observer. And the teacher begins to learn the value of patience when conveying fresh ideas or new concepts – especially when it comes to matters of faith.

In the same way, Saint Paul must have had to have been very patient with all of his spiritual children to whom he had brought the message of God’s Truth. And we can read into Paul’s message today that the faithful, in the Christian community in the city of Corinth, were also having their difficulties. And yet, Paul never gave up on them, for as we read from His Letter, while he continued to plant the seed, Apollos would continue to water it.

Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.”

How thankful each of us must always be for the Apostles, the Evangelists and the untold number of missionaries who have gone before us so long ago! – for their good works of planting the seed of faith, for nurturing its growth – so that today, here and now, with the help of God’s grace, we are able to raise our voices and declare that “We are Christian!” – remembering the words of Saint Paul that it is God, Himself, “…who causes the growth” of His gifts within us.

How thankful each one of us must be for all those whom God placed in our lives to help us grow in our understanding of what it truly means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ!

How thankful each of us must be for the gift of faith, and the gift of being taught and being opened to and accepting of the Most Wondrous Gift of the Holy Eucharist which Christ gives us of Himself at each Mass, which is the very Source and Summit of our life of faith!

It is in the very depths of our personal thanksgivings which echo the words of today’s psalmist in our Responsorial Psalm, “Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.”

And each one of us, both you and I, are God’s chosen inheritance, for we, as brothers and sisters of Christ, are adopted sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. We ARE God’s children!

May we always be filled with heartfelt gratitude for all the gifts which God has chosen to bestow upon each of us, including especially the growth of our faith –

– a faith which fills us with an enduring hope and an everlasting joy!

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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

  • “I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7)
  • “[Jesus] said, ‘This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” (Mark 4:26-27)
  • “You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23)
  • “[Jesus said to the crowds,] ‘To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.’(Luke 4:43)
  • “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37cd)
  • “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
  • “The one who plants and the one who waters are equal, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor. For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:8-9)
  • “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people chosen as his inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)
  • “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” (1 John 3:1ab)
  • “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
  • “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord God, Creator of Heaven and Earth,
You called us out of nothingness,
and created us in Your own Image.
You filled us with Your own life-giving Spirit,
inviting us to have a share in Your own Divinity,
so that we may be called Your spiritual sons and daughters.

“We thank You for the gift of life
and for the blessings You bestow upon us this day.
Help us to always stand in awe
at the Presence of Your Holy Majesty,
so that we may always sing the praises of Your Glory
in all that we do throughout each day’s journey in life.

“Truly, all things come from You,
And everything that is – was once nothing.
From the depths of Your Infinite Love,
You called us into being as Your children.
We worship You, O Lord, from the very depths of our very existence,
for, in all that we are, we forever owe to You. Amen.”

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