God is challenging us each day as to how we are living our life in the present moment. When we stop growing in our faith, our life with God, we also tend to forget the reason for living. Life becomes a downward spiral. Life becomes one negative after another and we begin to attack everything and everyone around us.
“My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers.” How do we defile God’s temple? Paul reminds us that we ourselves are God’s temple. What is it that we need to sort out? How are we called to renew the worship offered in our hearts? As we see the re-consecration of the temple in the Book of Maccabees let us rededicate ourselves to the faithful worship of God.
Dedication of the Basilica of STS. Peter and Paul –
In the storms of life which we encounter, may we be humble and grateful enough to see the hand of Christ reaching out to us. This gospel is a story of fear and faith. It begins with the disciples crying out in fear and it ends with the disciples confessing their faith in Jesus as the Son of God. And this is and will be the same for all of us because of the words the disciples heard: “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid.”
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us –
There is no standing still in the Christian life. Jesus obviously does not want his followers to stand pat and just play it safe. He targets complacency, inactivity, and timidity. He is challenging us to open new theological vistas, new ways of looking at the same old things.
Saint Margaret of Scotland, pray for us –
The respectable citizens of Jericho did not appreciate Jesus inviting himself into the home of this notorious sinner. This was not politically correct. How welcoming am I of everyone and not only those who agree with my standards? And then how welcoming are we as the Catholic Church or as a parish? Are we as inclusive as Jesus? Zacchaeus was a sinner all right. But he knew it, no bones about it. And Jesus will always feel comfortable with honest sinners!
St. Albert the Great, pray for us –
Vision is a largely unconscious part of living. However, insight is vastly different from physical sight. Among the gifts of the Holy Spirit is discernment, which is insight into the deeper truths and spiritual meanings of our encounters and experiences. How often do I take the journey within? Do I take the journey with eyes of faith? There are times when I can be so spiritually blind. There are moments in life when we all need to pray; Lord help me to see!
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time –
“For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” If we are busy living, living in the presence of God, observing what is happening in our own lives and how the Lord is present to us and interpreting the signs within ourselves through a dedicated life of prayer, we will come much closer to the reign of God which is found within us.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us –
Jesus told his disciples “To pray always and not lose heart.” Perhaps he had seen in them some signs of discouragement, or it could have been that he was preparing them for the future. Whatever the case might be, he knew the strong temptation of giving up. As a shield against such temptation, he told them of the importance of continual prayer. Prayer was and is not just a speech addressed to God. It is an attitude of dependence on God. And dependence upon God provides life with a steady and balanced foundation.
Saint Josaphat, pray for us –
The reign of God begins when we let God begin to reign in our hearts. And so we need to get on with feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty, visiting the sick and imprisoned. This is what the kingdom is all about. When Christ comes again let him find us living his life as his followers and we won’t have to worry about going home to gather our belongings. We must live so that when he comes, he will find us doing his will.
St. Martin of Tours, pray for us –
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day, themselves teachers of the law, proved to be tone-deaf to the wisdom he offered. They could not grasp that the Kingdom of God had already come in him. The disciples, on the other hand, accepted Jesus’ word that the fullness of the kingdom would come after his suffering and death. How have you passed on the gifts of goodness and holiness, tranquility and generosity, discernment and love for life? Recognize, too, your own place in the unending line of teachers who affect eternity.