Sunday 23 September 2018

Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
Responsorial Psalm 54:1-4, 6 Response 4b
Second Reading James 3:16-4:3
Gospel Mark 9:30-37

The church year is winding down, including today there are ten Sundays left in the church year. I have already begun looking to next years liturgical readings. Year B is about to end, and we will begin Year C for the Sunday readings. I recently found out that where I normally get my annual copy of "Workbook for Lectors, Gospel readers, and Proclaimers of the Word 2019 Canadian Edition" So now I need to find someone in Canada who has it. Either that or use a different tool for preparing these weekly meditations next church year.

This weeks reading had a deep impact upon me. From the first time I read them, until the fourth time this morning again. The reading from the book of Wisdom is a prophesy of what will happen to Christ. But it is also commentary on wickedness in general. It speaks to the way that the wicked will do what they can to attack and oppress the righteous.  

The first section of the psalm is often my prayer. We pray:

"Save me, O God, by your name,
and vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
give ear to the words of my mouth.

For the insolent have risen against me,
the ruthless seek my life;
they do not set God before them.

But surely, God is my helper;
the lord is the upholder of my life.
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
I will give thanks to your name, for it is good.

R. The lord upholds my life."

The second reading focuses on actions and attitudes that bring and breed disorder, as opposed those that bring order. I have never like conflict. Often when I was younger I would avoid conflict for the wrong reasons. Sometimes fear and sometimes just a personal unease with the strong emotions involved with conflict. I find that the older I get, especially over the last few years I am more willing to engage in conflict. I still do not like it, but I have realized that there are times it is needed. But I strive for a conflict that will bring peace and bring reconciliation. When I avoid it now it is out of prudence and to wait and see how the situation will unfold. 

The gospel reminded me of two of my daily prayers. The first is:

"Prayer of Humility

 O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine. From the desire to be esteemed, deliver me. From the desire to be honored, deliver me. From the desire to be praised, deliver me. Teach me to accept humiliation, contempt, rebukes, being slandered, being ignored, being insulted, being wronged, and being belittled. Jesus, grant me the grace that others be admired more than I; that others be praised and I unnoticed; that others be preferred to me in everything; that others be holier than I, provided I become as holy as I should; that I might imitate the patience and obedience of Your mother, Mary. Amen."

And the second is part of the Consecration To Merciful Love:

"…Finally, I believe, my God, that you can and will make me into a saint, even if I won't see it, even if I have to struggle all my life against vice and sin, even if I have to wait until the very end. This blind hope in your mercy, O Lord, is my only treasure.

And now, to confirm my resolve and to console you for so much rejection of your mercy, I OFFER MYSELF, THROUGH THE HANDS OF MARY IMMACULATE AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, asking you to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within you to overflow into my soul, and that I may thus become a martyr of your love, O my God, and a gift of mercy to so many others.

I ask all this in Jesus' name. Amen."

Therefore, this week's readings remind me that I still have a long way to go. I am a work in progress. Through prayer, confession and the mass I am striving to become the best version of myself. 

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