Posted by: RAM | October 3, 2012

Thursday (October 4): “The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Holy Rosary
Thursday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi, religious
82 Days Before Christmas

You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you allow yourself to commit a mortal sin. — King St. Louis IX of France http://origin.ewtn.com/devotionals/inspiration.asp#4

First Reading: Job 19:21-27
Psalm 27:7-8a, 8b-9abc, 13-14: I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
Gospel: Luke 10:1-12
Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the Kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day
than for that town.” http://usccb.org/bible/readings/100412.cfm

Video Reflection: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/

Reflection: What kind of harvest does the Lord want us to reap today? When Jesus commissioned seventy of his disciples to go on mission, he gave them a vision of a great harvest for the kingdom of God. Jesus frequently used the image of a harvest to convey the coming of God’s reign on earth. The harvest is the fruition of labor and growth – beginning with the sowing of seeds, then growth, and finally fruit for the harvest. In like manner, the word of God is sown in the hearts of receptive men and women who hear his word and who accept it with trust and obedience. The harvest Jesus had in mind was not only the people of Israel, but all the peoples (or nations) of the world. John the Evangelist tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
What does Jesus mean when he says his disciples must be “lambs in the midst of wolves”? The prophet Isaiah foretold a time when wolves and lambs will dwell in peace (Isaiah 11:6 and 65:25). This certainly refers to the second coming of Christ when all will be united under the Lordship of Jesus after he has put down his enemies and established the reign of God over the heavens and the earth. In the meantime, the disciples must expect opposition and persecution from those who who would oppose the gospel. Jesus came as our sacrificial lamb to atone for the sin of the world. We, in turn, must be willing to sacrifice our lives in humble service of our Lord and Master.

What is the significance of Jesus appointing seventy disciples to the ministry of the word? Seventy was a significant number in biblical times. Moses chose seventy elders to help him in the task of leading the people through the wilderness. The Jewish Sanhedrin, the governing council for the nation of Israel, was composed of seventy members. In Jesus’ times seventy was held to be the number of nations throughout the world. Jesus commissioned the seventy to a two-fold task: to speak in his name and to act with his power. Jesus gave them instructions for how they were to carry out their ministry. They must go and serve as people without guile, full of charity and peace, and simplicity. They must give their full attention to the proclamation of God’s kingdom and not be diverted by other lesser things. They must travel light – only take what was essential and leave behind whatever would distract them – in order to concentrate on the task of speaking the word of the God. They must do their work, not for what they can get out of it, but for what they can give freely to others, without expecting reward or payment. “Poverty of spirit” frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision. The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves.

Jesus ends his instructions with a warning: If people reject God’s invitation and refuse his word, then they bring condemnation on themselves. When God gives us his word there comes with it the great responsibility to respond. Indifference will not do. We are either for or against God in how we respond to his word. God gives us his word that we may have abundant life in him. He wills to work through and in each of us for his glory. God shares his word with us and he commissions us to speak it boldly and simply to others. Do you witness the truth and joy of the gospel by word and example to those around you?

“Lord Jesus, may the joy and truth of the gospel transform my life that I may witness it to those around me. Grant that I may spread your truth and your light wherever I go.” http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/oct4.htm

Saint of the Day: St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) Patron and Animals, Merchants & Ecology
Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally—not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit and without a sense of self-importance.

Serious illness brought the young Francis to see the emptiness of his frolicking life as leader of Assisi’s youth. Prayer—lengthy and difficult—led him to a self-emptying like that of Christ, climaxed by embracing a leper he met on the road. It symbolized his complete obedience to what he had heard in prayer: “Francis! Everything you have loved and desired in the flesh it is your duty to despise and hate, if you wish to know my will. And when you have begun this, all that now seems sweet and lovely to you will become intolerable and bitter, but all that you used to avoid will turn itself to great sweetness and exceeding joy.”

From the cross in the neglected field-chapel of San Damiano, Christ told him, “Francis, go out and build up my house, for it is nearly falling down.” Francis became the totally poor and humble workman.

He must have suspected a deeper meaning to “build up my house.” But he would have been content to be for the rest of his life the poor “nothing” man actually putting brick on brick in abandoned chapels. He gave up all his possessions, piling even his clothes before his earthly father (who was demanding restitution for Francis’ “gifts” to the poor) so that he would be totally free to say, “Our Father in heaven.” He was, for a time, considered to be a religious fanatic, begging from door to door when he could not get money for his work, evokng sadness or disgust to the hearts of his former friends, ridicule from the unthinking.

But genuineness will tell. A few people began to realize that this man was actually trying to be Christian. He really believed what Jesus said: “Announce the kingdom! Possess no gold or silver or copper in your purses, no traveling bag, no sandals, no staff” (see Luke 9:1-3).

Francis’ first rule for his followers was a collection of texts from the Gospels. He had no idea of founding an order, but once it began he protected it and accepted all the legal structures needed to support it. His devotion and loyalty to the Church were absolute and highly exemplary at a time when various movements of reform tended to break the Church’s unity.
He was torn between a life devoted entirely to prayer and a life of active preaching of the Good News. He decided in favor of the latter, but always returned to solitude when he could. He wanted to be a missionary in Syria or in Africa, but was prevented by shipwreck and illness in both cases. He did try to convert the sultan of Egypt during the Fifth Crusade.
During the last years of his relatively short life (he died at 44), he was half blind and seriously ill. Two years before his death, he received the stigmata, the real and painful wounds of Christ in his hands, feet and side.

On his deathbed, he said over and over again the last addition to his Canticle of the Sun, “Be praised, O Lord, for our Sister Death.” He sang Psalm 141, and at the end asked his superior to have his clothes removed when the last hour came and for permission to expire lying naked on the earth, in imitation of his Lord. http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1158

More Saints of the Day
• St. Adauctus
• St. Ammon
• St. Aurea
• St. Crispus & Gaius
• St. Domnina
• St. Hierotheus
• St. Mark
• St. Peter of Damascus
• St. Petronius
• St. Quintius

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.


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