Sunday 14 October 2018

Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Wisdom 7:7-11
Responsorial Psalm 90:12-17 Response 14
Second Reading Hebrews 4:12-13
Gospel Mark 10:17-30

There is the option this week for a shorter gospel reading, it would be Mark 10:17-27, But I think the longer version gives us a lot to think about. But let's take a look at the readings in order. 

The beginning of the first reading is:

"I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to sceptres and thrones,
and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her."

I have written about this before, but when I was confirmed I picked the gift of knowledge. Looking back I often wish I had asked for a blessing of wisdom. For I see wisdom as putting knowledge into practice. As I grow older, I values wisdom far more than just knowledge. In my experience Knowledge is cold, hard, and rigid. And wisdom is more gracious, understanding, and more patience. I need more of those things in my life, and I need more wisdom in my life, wisdom about when to speak up, and when to stay silent, wisdom about what to do, and about what to not do, wisdom to know when to say 'yes' and when to say 'no'. And I need those things in all areas of my life. Physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectually. I also need them with my family, with friends, at work. In what I choose to invest my time on and what I choose to not spend time on. Fortunately as I grow older I realize that more and more. I sometimes get asked how I read so many books, and to be honest for every 5 books I finish I do not finish at least 1. I no longer slog through a book to the end, if I am not getting into it, or it just is not doing it for me. And by putting aside those books other books are finished more timely. I am also learning that as I approach a half century on earth, that I cannot just push through pain and injuries. I need to back off, take time, and recover. By as many lessons in life, these did not come easily, for I often lacked wisdom.

I loved the responsorial psalm this week:

"R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, that we may rejoice and be glad.

Teach us to count our days
that we may gain a wise heart.
Turn, O Lord! How long?
Have compassion on your servants!

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us,
and as many years as we have seen evil.

Let your work be manifest to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands."

Our second reading is one of the shortest of the church year. Just two verses. 

"The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before God no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account."

Reading this passage I cannot help but think about a few books I have read on the four last things.

Death - Judgement - Heaven - Hell

There was some dialogue with friends regarding last week's reflection. Part of my response was "for me it has more to do with truth. If we are believing Christians. If we are practicing Catholics. And if we believe in a judgement as part of the four last things. Then there is a responsibility to speak the truth we believe. For it has eternal consequences." This passage speaks directly to that fact. And now we come to the gospel reading.

Jesus tells the young man to sell all he owns and follow Jesus. Many saints throughout the ages have lived those words literally. But how many of us today if we felt that call would follow? Compared to the time of Saint Francis, or even Mother Theresa, we for the most part have things so much easier. I wonder if I felt the call would I, would my children, would you? There are times I find it hard to follow God in the little things, how would I step out in the big things? And not just because of the promises at the end of the passage. But because of all God has done for me. 

This past week I read and reviewed Junia The Fictional Life and Death of an Early Christian by Father Michael E. Giesler. One passage really stuck with me, as Junia is likely to end up a martyr he brother and her have a conversation:
 "Junia, here's my advice to you as a brother. Take the oath. When you have to say the words that curse Jesus Christ, say them, but in your heart bless him. Then you're not lying to yourself, and you're remaining true to your God."Junia narrowed her eyes and looked at her brother indignantly."And would you do that to your best friend?"Marcus stared at her blankly."What do you mean?""What I said, Marcus. Would you curse your best friend publicly, in front of everyone, while in your heart you praise him?""I would, to save my life," he retorted."Well, I won't, even if it costs me mine," she answered."He must be quite a friend, then.""He is," she replied softly.
I want to live what kind of conviction, and that kind of love. 

Know that I pray for you my readers, and as always I ask you to pray for me. 

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