Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 18
We Are Truly Engaged Today in a Great Spiritual Battle for Our Souls; Satan Is Attacking Everything Which Is Holy and Virtuous, Everything Which is Sacred, So As to Reduce to Rubble the Faith within the Hearts of God’s Children.
We read today near the beginning of Saint Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, “For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.”
In a previous meditation, I had asked the question, “What does my relationship with Jesus Christ mean to me, and how has this relationship affected my life?” Maybe we can look upon this question from a different perspective, “In my relationship with God, does my life – all that I think, all that I say and do – please Him and give Him glory?”
The questions are meant to help us reflect upon where we place God in our daily activities. We know only too well what many of the world’s cultures think of God – that faith in Him is archaic and outdated, that there is no place for the God of Judaism and Christianity in this modern, hedonistic and fast-paced world in which we live today!
For those of us who keep up-to-date on current events around the globe, we are unhappily witnessing an aggressive secularism which is slowly eroding the religious freedoms in many countries, even including the United States.
The societies of the world are more and more beginning to embrace atheistic forms of governments. It is a slowly creeping disease which has begun to eat away at the very fabric of the freedoms which many have taken for granted and enjoyed for centuries – the attack on life, family, and the very basic right of practicing our faith without being ridiculed, even ostracized or physically martyred, as we read about taking place in some countries.
And when we take the time to truly reflect upon these facts, we witness this pattern of atheistic thinking even within the shores of America. We see this in the extreme liberalism in many of our courts and politicians and in many who have rejected the basic Christian virtues of life. And to what end? – an embracement and espousal of extreme relativism, in which the truths contained within Sacred Scripture are no longer honored or respected.
With all this happening in the world today, it brings to mind a prophetic question our Lord had asked some two thousand years ago, “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Will He find the faith alive and well in you and me? This is why it is essential for us to take the time to truly reflect upon the question posed earlier, “In my relationship with God, does my life – all that I think, all that I say and do – please Him and give Him glory?”
In our First Reading today, we hear God speaking through His prophet Isaiah, “I am the LORD, there is no other, there is no God besides me…so that all may know, from the rising of the sun to its setting, that there is none besides me. I am the LORD, there is no other.”
And yet, we know only too well that the secularistic climate in which we live today has created gods in almost every facet of life – greed, power, fame, sexual gratification, and this long list sadly continues, limited only by our own imagination.
In essence, the One True God has been forcibly placed in the backseat of the lives of many peoples and governments – all for the sake of extreme modernism in the hearts and minds of many, ignoring the words of Sacred Scripture which we find in today’s Responsorial Psalm, “For great is the LORD and highly to be praised; awesome is he, beyond all gods. For all the gods of the nations are things of nought.”
Sadly, those who embrace and espouse atheistic relativism – a way of life which rejects God’s Truth and replaces it with secularistic and amoral truths – they wander through life in darkness, never truly realizing the wonder of God’s unfathomable Love and limitless Mercy which is readily available to them.
For it is Satan who has deceived and mislead them! And it is Satan who hopes to own their souls for eternity when their time here on Earth is ended – if they do not repent.
God has given to each one of us, to both you and me, this most wondrous and incredible gift of life which we enjoy! And by virtue of the fact that you are reading this today, you have freely said “yes” to the gift of faith which He has also freely given, and to which each of us have freely responded.
How we live our faith IS how we say “thank you” for the Love which He holds for each of us, a Love which is beyond all human measure of understanding – a Love which fills us, and a Love which guides, strengthens and supports us as we travel together through this valley of tears, with the many trials which society and our culture have set before us.
And in this journey of life, which we find ourselves traveling each day, we are sometimes asked to live a spiritual martyrdom of sorts, in which we accept the ridicule and condescending looks and thoughts for the faith which we joyfully embrace.
What many have failed to recognize is that God has given to each of us the strength of faith to endure the hardships which accompany our Christian way of life. And, in these hardships, our Lord calls us to be godlike in a godless society. He gives us the grace to endure with the societal difficulties, while still giving reverence and devotion to the One True God.
And the key word here is “balance” in our walk of faith. For those whose lives are secularly oriented and void of God’s Presence in their hearts, their lives become out of balance; their lives become but a hollow shell. For no matter how much they might believe otherwise, there is no lasting peace or happiness in their hearts or souls.
But for those of us whose hearts are guided by faith and who place God first in our lives, no matter what “Caesar” may require of us, we are still able to give “to God what belongs to God”, as our Lord says in today’s Gospel, and we will enjoy that serenity and tranquility of heart and soul which is God’s gift to each of us, for we know that our lives are emulating the very life of Christ, Himself.
We are truly engaged today in a great spiritual battle for our souls! Satan is attacking everything which is holy and virtuous, everything which is sacred, so as to reduce to rubble the faith within the hearts of God’s children!
The very purpose of these daily meditations is to help us grow in our spiritual lives, in our intimate relationship with our God. And, in this relationship, He invites us to open our hearts to the promises He has made concerning His Divine Mercy.
In 1937, our Lord said to Saint Maria Faustina, His Apostle of Divine Mercy, as recorded in her Diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, “At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world” (§ 1320).
In faith, may we give ourselves over to prayer for the sake of all of God’s children who are being blindly led through the darkness in life by the prince of lies. For, unknowing to them, their very salvation may depend upon the prayers we offer to the Divine Mercy of Almighty God.
In this spiritual battle in which the faithful are now engaged, may we put on the full armor of God, embracing the words which our Lord Jesus gave us not so long ago –
“O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You!” (Diary, §§ 84, 187, 309).
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
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.
Scripture for the Day
- “For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the holy Spirit and with much conviction.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5a)
- “I am the LORD, there is no other, there is no God besides me…so that all may know, from the rising of the sun to its setting, that there is none besides me. I am the LORD, there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:5a, 6)
- “For great is the LORD and highly to be praised, to be feared above all gods. For the gods of the nations are idols.” (Psalm 96:4-5a)
- “The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness…They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. (Romans 1:18, 25a)
- “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8b)
- “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard ‘delay,’ but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
- “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
- “At that he said to them, ‘Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.’” (Matthew 22:21b)
- “You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)
- “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)
- “Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness…” (Ephesians 6:11-12)
Prayer for the Day
“Lord, because You have made me,
I owe You the whole of my love;
because You have redeemed me,
I owe You the whole of myself.
“…Draw me to you, Lord,Saint Anselm (12th century, Doctor of the Church)
in the fullness of love.
I am wholly Yours by creation;
make me all Yours, too, in love.”