Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 17
In All Our Daily Needs, May We Never Hesitate to Approach the Merciful and Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – the “throne of grace”, for He Truly Is Our Life, Our Hope, Our Ultimate and Eternal Destiny!
In the Letter to the Hebrews, we read, “…let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”
As many of us think back on our childhood years, we can remember parents or grandparents, aunts or uncles, possibly even priests, ministers, religious sisters or brothers, or even teachers who went out of their way to ensure that we were well taken care of – making sure we had enough food to eat, clean clothes to wear, that we were doing well in school.
It was a time in our life when we were dependent upon the love and caring concern of others. And then we grew up, and it now became our turn to care for those who were in need of our love and attention.
And those for whom we are asked to care may be our children, or maybe even our parents who have become elderly and are no longer able to care for themselves.
It is a cycle of life which repeats itself, generation after generation. It is the way by which Christ reaches out with His Love, for we become as Christ was when He walked this Earth, a loving servant to care for the needs of those whom God places in our lives.
Emptying from ourselves our own selfishness and giving love selflessly is how love can generate itself from parent to child to grandchild. It is the example of love which we live which generates love in others.
And Jesus gave us the example of God’s Love in all that He taught and in all that He did. We see love begetting love in the next priestly generation in the lives of the Apostles and the early disciples, and all that they taught – which has been captured for us in the different Letters (Epistles) which they wrote to the early Christian communities.
The author of the Letter to the Hebrews, which we read today, encourages his readers to hold fast to their faith, for he writes, “…we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.”
And in the midst of the hardships which you and I face today – a failing economy, a culture of death which many of God’s children have embraced, governments re-writing the moral law accepting immoral lifestyles whereby same-sex marriages are accepted and even taught to our children in the school curriculum, radical fundamentalists who persecute and murder all who do not embrace their perverted way of thinking –
– all of these concerns, and many more, confront the devoted Christian disciple on a day to day basis, attempting to slowly undermine and erode the faith and the Christian way of life upon which our faith has been based.
And all to what end? For two thousand years now, Satan has been trying to remove, not only from our hearts but from society as a whole, that which gives us hope in a world and in a culture which seems to be turning its soul over to moral, ethical and theological relativism – concepts which tend to remove God the Creator, the teachings of His Son, and the enlightenments from the Holy Spirit from our way of life, so that we may make new gods out of whatever pleases us, no matter how deviant or perverted the godlessness may be.
For the average parent and the average grandparent who find themselves confronting these obstacles daily, worrying about their children and grandchildren, worrying about how they are being affected and how they are interpreting all that is happening around them, each of us is taught that God is no stranger to the difficulties and the concerns which we find ourselves facing.
Our Lord says to us in today’s Gospel, “The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized.” And in another place, Jesus says, “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
Every generation has had its specific crosses to bear, and ours is no different. But what truly makes our cross bearable, as it has in every generation which preceded us, is knowing and believing that God’s Love will ultimately win out in the end.
What gives us hope – in the midst of the cultural darkness which seems to surround and envelop us, is the faith we find in the True Bride of Christ – built on the sure and solid foundation of Christ and His Apostles, and the Sacraments which feed and nourish and strengthen us in our daily fight against the evils which we recognize and with which we are confronted in today’s society.
And it is through a close and intimate relationship with our Loving Savior, and a life devoted to daily prayer, which helps us to face and deal with the pessimism, the skepticism, the relativism and oppression which we find within the hearts of many in our world today.
It is in the life of holiness we live and the faith which we are not afraid to profess which enables us to become the example for our children and our grandchildren to not only see, but hopefully to also imitate in the lives they will live.
As we each journey through life, confronted with all the different aspects of cultural reality in our lives, we come to learn that our relationship with God determines how we accept the difficulties which envelop us daily, as well as how we embrace God’s will for us – differentiating between the concept of being served and serving others.
For it is the final words of today’s Gospel, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – which guide us into a deeper understanding of the will of God for each of us in the life we are called to live.
For those who have placed secularism as their personal god, their desire to be served becomes their priority, for their thoughts are focused upon selfish, personal gain. However, for those who have become Christ-centered in their lives, serving others through the selfless giving of love is a way of living which invites God’s blessings upon themselves in this life and in the next.
Living the Love of Christ in our hearts, not just for family but also for neighbor, is what being Christian is all about, for it places others first before ourselves. The humility of placing our needs secondary to those of others IS an example of loving and selfless charity.
In our First Reading today from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, we are presented with a picture of the suffering Servant, the prophecy of One who will voluntarily suffer, so that others may be justified through His suffering.
And through His suffering, the Letter to the Hebrews tells us that we have a compassionate “…high priest…” in whom we place all our hope, reaching out to God with the words of our Responsorial antiphon, “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.”
This Jesus, upon Whom our life of faith is based and in Whom we place all our trust, truly IS our Hope; He IS our Eternal Light in a world which is so overcome with darkness.
May the words which we find in our Second Reading today truly become our own, “…let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”
And in all our daily needs, may we never hesitate to approach the Merciful and Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – the “throne of grace”, for He truly is our Life, our Hope, our ultimate and eternal Destiny!
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 we do not have a high priest [Jesus, the Son of God], who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
- “[Christ Jesus], though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)
- “In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)
- “But it was the LORD’s will to crush him with pain. By making his life as a reparation offering…the LORD’s will shall be accomplished through him.” (Isaiah 53:10abd)
- “My servant, the just one, shall justify the many, their iniquity he shall bear.” (Isaiah 53:11cd)
- “Jesus said them, ‘The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized.’” (Mark 10:39bc)
- “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33)
- “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
- “…whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.” (Mark 10:43b-44)
- “May your mercy, LORD, be upon us; as we put our hope in you.” (Psalm 33:22)
- “So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Prayer for the Day
“O Sovereign GoodnessSaint Jane Frances de Chantal
of the Sovereign Providence of my God!
I abandon myself forever to Your arms.
Whether gentle or severe,
lead me henceforth wherever You will.
“I will not regard the way through which You will have me pass,
but keep my eyes fixed upon You, my God, who guides me.
My soul finds no rest without the arms
and the bosom of this Heavenly Providence,
my true Mother, my strength and my rampart.
“Therefore, I resolve with Your Divine assistance,
O my Savior, to follow Your desires and Your ordinances,
without regarding or examining why You do this rather than that;
but I will blindly follow You according to Your Divine will,
without seeking my own inclinations…Amen.”