Sunday, October 6, 2019

Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

In other years: Saint Bruno (1033-1101)

Readings of the Day
RB; Ch 7:55
Mass: Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4; Resp Ps 95; 2 Tim 1:6-8, 13-14; Lk 17:5-10

If today you hear God's voice, harden not your hearts.


For starters, I include the proclamation from our Morning Prayer, taken from a 2013 Angelus Address by Pope Francis: 

It is the Lord who asks us to have faith. Because faith, which is always God's gift and always to be asked for, must be nurtured by us. It is no magic power which comes down from heaven … Faith is the golden thread which binds us to the Lord, the pure joy of being with him, united to him; it is a gift that lasts our whole life, but bears fruit only if we play our part.

Yes, we must play our part. We can turn to St Paul for encouragement, presented to us in the second reading at Mass celebrated today. What is not included are the first five verses of the epistle where Paul greets Timothy, and those listening today, in a warm and loving way, My dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Paul expresses his gratitude to God and tells Timothy that he remembers him constantly in prayer, and yearns to see him again so that he may be filled with joy. Paul recalls Timothy's sincere faith passed down to Timothy by his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice. We pray, then, to Lois and Eunice to intercede for us before the living and true God so that we might live the faith as they did. Increase our faith.

Now with encouragement to do our part in service to God and neighbor. May we not be afraid or ashamed to live our faith. As Paul writes: God did not give us a spirit of cowardice. Rather, we are given a spirit of power and love and self-control. As the psalmist reminds us, "With God I can rush an armed band, with my God to help I can leap a wall"! (Ps 18:30). As disciples of Christ, we are called to carry our crosses and follow after Him. Paul provides encouragement to bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. For "who is a rock but our God? The God who girds me with strength and makes the path safe before me" (Ps 18:32-33). Paul continues: Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Furthermore, guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. ALL IS GIFT! "The just one, because of his faith, shall live"! (Hab 2:4). May the golden thread of joy in the Lord ever abide in us!

We pray with intercessions from Prayer for the Morning, Magnificat, October 6, 2019:

We seek to be followers of Christ, and so we pray:
When our faith seems to be slipping away from us: Lord, build us up in faith.
When we are filled with doubt and confusion: Lord, build us up in faith. 
When we feel threatened by evil: Lord, build us up in faith.

The expression "we are useless servants", recommended by Christ in the Gospel, "is an expression of humility and willingness that does so much good to the Church, and reminds us of the right attitude to work in the Church: that of humble service".
(Pope Francis, Angelus Address, October 7, 2019)

(RB 5:16/2 Cor 9:7)


Today's photo: Rainier National Forest, Washington

© Gertrude Feick 2019

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