Sunday, October 30, 2016

Reflection for the 31st Week in Ordinary Time, Part 1

Monday – Unity and Humility

In today's first reading, St. Paul reminds us of two key aspects of the Christian life: unity and humility. “Complete my joy,” he says, “by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing.”

The same mind... We embrace the truth as God reveals it in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition and guides our interpretation by the Church's Magisterium. 

The same love... We sincerely will the best for one another and do our utmost to help each other achieve that best.

United in heart... We truly care about one another, and we are cautious of each other's feelings. Even though we often have to admonish one another, we do so with love.

Thinking one thing... We discipline our thoughts so they conform to the truth rather than trying to force the truth to conform to our thoughts.

To do all of these things, we must practice humility. This doesn't mean putting ourselves down; it means seeing ourselves realistically. We recognize that everything we have and everything we are comes from God. Without Him we can do nothing good, so we rely on His grace for all. We also realize that God endowed each and every person with dignity, and we treat them accordingly. We put God first in our lives, then others, and finally ourselves.

Lord Jesus, help me live this unity and humility each and every day. Amen.

Tuesday – The Great Multitude

On this Solemnity of All Saints, we remember and honor the great multitude of saints who are waiting for us in Heaven. They are constantly praying for us, cheering us on, and encouraging us by their examples.

The saints are some of our greatest friends, but we have to ask ourselves how well we really know them. And after we've admitted, “Not nearly well enough,” we ought to make an effort to remedy that.

Here are a few ideas that might help:

1. Read a little about a different saint each day either online or in a book of saints' lives.

2. Choose a saint as a prayer partner, and regularly ask him or her to intercede for you.

3. Select a book written by a saint, and read a bit each day.

4. Ask your friends, relatives, and fellow parishioners if they have favorite saints. Get the conversation going!

5. Pull out your old holy cards, and pray some of the beautiful prayers on the backs of them.

Whatever you choose to do, just be sure to develop a relationship with some saints. After all, they will be our companions in Heaven, so we might as well start getting to know them now.

Wednesday – Words of Hope

As we pray in a special way for the holy souls in Purgatory today, we take comfort in the words of hope Jesus speaks to us in the Gospel. “Everything that the Father gives Me will come to Me,” He says, “and I will not reject anyone who comes to Me...For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Jesus wants us, each and every one of us. The Father wills that everyone be saved. They do not reject anyone who comes to Them with faith and a sincere heart. They turn no one away.

God loves everyone single person who has ever lived and ever will live. We were all created to live in Heaven forever, and we all have access to all the grace we need to get there. God doesn't hold back.

But sometimes we do. We reject grace and turn away from God. We refuse the salvation He offers because we want sin more. But we can still have hope because right up to the last moment of our lives, we can keep turning back and casting ourselves into God's arms. He always accepts and heals a repentant heart.

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