Monday, October 18, 2021

FEAST OF ST. LUKE, EVANGELIST - 2021

DAILY HOLY MASS READINGS

I chose you from the world
to go out and bear fruit,
fruit that will last,
says the Lord. JN 15:16


2 TIMOTHY 4:10-17 ©

My Soul's Beloved,

St. Paul's laments about his friends and companions who deserted him and those who turned against him are the experience of any of Your disciples worthy of the name. Paul had a few friends who stood bravely with him, sharing in his work of evangelization and providing him with all the support he required. Along with all the difficulties and threats to his life that he faced even as a prisoner there was still the ever-present danger of being brought before the tyrannical emperor of Rome who killed Your followers for sport.

Today, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Luke, the evangelist, a faithful companion and friend of St. Paul, to giants of the faith. We thank and praise You for all those valiant warriors of the faith from the apostles and Your first disciples, to those in the present age and until the end of time. It is because of the blood of martyrs that the Church You formed from Your side has grown. In her many find shelter, solace, and strength for our pilgrim journey from this life to the next. 

PSALM 145:10-13a,17-18 ©

My Soul's Beloved,

As the Church remembers and celebrates the evangelist St.
Luke, we give You thanks for him and those like him, who through the ages readily lay down their lives for the sake of the Gospel and to spread the Good News with no thought of personal gain.

We thank You, today in particular for St. Luke, and for the power of the Holy Spirit working through them that has given us his Gospel and an account of the Acts of the Apostles after Your Ascension into heaven.

The psalmist celebrates all the giants of our faith like St. Luke, who preached and spread the Gospel in every season despite the threat of persecution, imprisonment, torture, and death. The Holy Spirit working in and through them has given the Church a living legacy of its first birth pangs as it came 

They make known to men your mighty deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.
Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
your rule lasts from age to age.

Your friends, O Lord, make known the glorious splendour of your reign.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

TWENTY -NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - 2021

DAILY HOLY MASS READINGS

The Son of Man came to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many. MK 10:45


ISAIAH 53:10-11 ©

My Soul's Beloved,

We can never plumb the depths of the suffering You bore for our sake nor can we ever fathom how God the Father in whose bosom You rested and who loves You and whom You love so forcefully and ardently that the power of that eternal, living, blazing love gives us the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, was prepared to give You up to the most excruciating and humiliating suffering and death in order to save His sinful, disobedient, willful children in order to redeem them from eternal death.

Long before You came into the world the prophet gives us a vivid account of all that You will have to bear as the Suffering Servant for the salvation of the world. Crushed as grapes in a winepress, You were crushed until every drop of Your Blood was shed as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. You were scourged so brutally that Your flesh hung from You like bloodied purple ribbons.

The burning envy and rage of the Devil took over the minds and hearts of those Your enemies who were determined to kill You but not before they shamed You in every conceivable way before they did. Your silence before Your accusers made them even more brazen for they mistakenly believed that they had finally overpowered You. Your very silence reverberated through the ages for it was the silence of submission to the will of Your Father.

All the while the Father was with You and because You were obedient to the last God has raised You high and given You complete and everlasting authority in heaven, on earth, and under the neath. At Your Name, every knee shall bow and every tongue will proclaim to the glory of God the Father, that You are Lord of Lords, King of Kings, and Savior of the world.
By Your stripes, You have healed the world.

PSALM 33:4-5,18-20,22 ©

My Soul's Beloved,

We are wonderstruck when we read the Old Testament and the
Psalms in the light of the New Testament, in the light of divine revelation taught by the Master to the Apostles, who in their turn taught the earliest Church Fathers, and whose wisdom given by the Holy Spirit lays bare God's intentions the moment sin entered the world and separated us from Him. 

God never intended for Satan to have the last word because His Eternal Word won the victory. You make daughters and sons of God all who believe in You. All who walk in the light of Your Truth walk in justice, righteousness, and love.

You have crushed the head of the Enemy and have won the victory for us over sin and death. Your Word upholds us and gives us life. Your Body is the food that gives us strength for the journey from this life to the Kingdom of God.

We live in faith, hope, and love for the day of Your glorious return. Thank You for Your Blood that covers us and is mighty protection that shields us for the wiles of the Enemy. Thank You for Your love that overshadows us and keeps us safe for eternity. Thank You for the unwavering hope we have in You who are worthy of all our love, praise, and worship.

HEBREWS 4:14-16 ©

My Soul's Beloved,

We thank You for the beautifully reassuring words of the writer of this letter to the Hebrews that remind us that for our sakes You became like us. This means that there is nothing within the human experience that You have not undergone and hence You understand. When we suffer loss, when we undergo temptation, when we are lonely, when times of agony are so great we are crushed and overwhelmed. When we feel the weight of the world's injustice, greed, the disparity between those who have and those who lack what is the most basic to sustain life and dignity we can come to You. We can cry out to You. You will understand for You were like in all things except sin.  

Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.

MARK 10:35-45 ©

My Soul's Beloved,

How often do we approach You like James and John did and make inane requests because we lack vision, wisdom, and understanding of the reasons why God created us, why we are privileged to be called, baptized, and made members of Your Body. James and John together with Peter were closest to You. They were witnesses to some extraordinary miracles one would think that at least they got it, but it was not so.

Today's Gospel reminds us that we like James and John are prone to delusions of grandeur, and often are quite mistaken as to who we are and what it is that God asks of us. They were so off the mark it is mind-boggling. You knew exactly the favor they were going to ask of You even as they approached You. Were You faintly amused? You knew their minds and You must also have been a little disappointed that until then they had not quite understood Your mission.

How often we too are guilty of the sin of self-aggrandizement. We spend ridiculous amounts of time building castles in the air instead of keeping our feet firmly on the ground, busily occupied with building the Kingdom of God where God has appointed us, well aware of all our shortcomings.

James and John indeed drank deep of Your Cup of Suffering, but do I have the courage to do the same? Whatever we do for Your sake and for the sake of the Gospel we do because we have been given the mandate to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations. All that matters in this life is to discern Your will and do it with the help of the Holy Spirit instead of wasting precious time on foolish speculations. 

The way of the world is to shove and push one's way to the topmost position of power unmindful of who one tramples on. You remind us that it must be different for Your disciples. 

'Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’