Jesus asks for our submission, our obedience. We show that submission, that obedience, by following in the footsteps of Jesus, by being like Him, by being a person who lives his life for others, and not for ourselves. This is not easy. We need Jesus’ help to live like He did. It’s hard to live out the Paschal Mystery. Today, let’s pray that God will give us the strength to give to God what belongs to Him: namely everything! In the end, what matters most is to please God.
“Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch or weep tonight, and give Your angels and saints charge over those who sleep. Tend Your sick ones, O Loving Lord; rest Your weary ones; soothe Your dying ones; pity Your suffering ones; pity Your afflicted ones; shield Your joyous ones. And all for Your love’s sake. Amen.” (Prayer by St. Augustine)
“O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day, for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my family and friends, and in particular, for the intentions of our Holy father. Amen.”
Today, we celebrate the martyrdom of the North American martyrs of St. John Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues, and companions. These men were dedicated to the spreading of the Gospel in spite of the many hardships they faced. Let us pray today for the courage to spread the gospel in our time even in the face of opposition.
As we come to an end of a month, we have a Feast for an apostolic person; this time the evangelist Luke. Two books are ascribed to him: the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. We have come to look at them as two volumes and to read them together. The language of the Gospel according to Luke is supposed to be some of the best Greek in the NT. Many would have read it for its literary style. There are many wonderful features including the Nativity Stories, the unique parables such as the Prodigal Son, the importance of women and prayer. Jesus, in fact, prays more in this Gospel than in Mark and Matthew put together. The Acts is often referred to as the Gospel of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray that the same Holy Spirit will inspire us to follow Jesus more closely.
Washing before eating was not just for cleanliness but a religious ritual that went something like this: water was first poured over the fingertips and then over the fingers, the hands, and the wrists. Then, the procedure was reversed. Jesus wasn’t against ritual but some people who made ritual more important than doing good acts for others. What kind of balance do you keep between ritual and service to others?
Jesus compares Jonah’s preaching to the people of Nineveh to His preaching to the Jews. But, the people of Nineveh responded while the response was not so good to His preaching. How responsive are we to Jesus’ call to repentance? What steps do we take to keep from falling back into sin?