26 September, Monday
Readings: Job 1:6-22; Lk 9:46-50
Memoria: Sts. Cosmas and Damian
An argument among the disciples of Jesus regarding who is great among them; Jesus knowing the inner thoughts of them solved the problem in a very simple way. Jesus takes a little child which is simple, humble and dependent and keeping by his side says, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.” Jesus wants to teach the values of the kingdom and they are totally different than the worldly values and they are beyond human understanding.
This gospel passage is a lesson to each one of us. We all have an evil tendencies and aspirations to thirst and hunger for power and dominate over the others; we want to be greater than the other; we wish to be recognized, be praised and so on! Crazy we are! What are all the wars that we are witnessing throughout the world? They are merely the tragic expressions of wanting and desiring to be more powerful than others? We never think of the other as fellow human, as brother and sister! The most vulnerable people in our society are the victims of these proud aspirations of those want to be powerful, and greater than others. Let us remember that everyone is a child of God and pray for the peace among the people in the world.
27 September, Tuesday
Readings: Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23; Lk 9:51-56
Jesus knows the Father’s will for him absolutely and also the times and the moments in which everything must be done. He knows that the time to take up the cross is approaching and takes the firm decision to move towards Jerusalem. On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus faces rejection from the Samaritan village. This rejection foreshadows the rejection he is going to face in Jerusalem. James and John react to this rejection and said to Jesus, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But Jesus rebuked them. They went on to another village. Samaritans are said to be the historically enemies of the Jews. Jesus is not for violence. He would win over people with love, mercy and compassion. We have to be the disciples of fragile of our times; let us not react to the situations we face in everyday of our life. Let us witness the gospel values and the person of Jesus, especially in times of difficulties, and misunderstandings. Let us show our love and mercy in those situations. Let us put on the attitude of Jesus!
28 September, Wednesday
Readings: Job 9:1-12, 14-16
Memoria: St. Wenceslaus, St. Lawrence Ruiz &Comp / World Tourism Day
As Jesus was going towards Jerusalem, many people wanted to follow him. One said, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” And to another who wants to follow Jesus but wants first to go and bury his father, Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God; and yet to another who wants follow Jesus but first say farewell to those at him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
To be a disciple of Jesus means to share with him his fate, his condition of life, which is certainly not very attractive at first sight, supposed uncertainty and poverty, that is, in a word, sacrifice and renunciation. But the end is not the sacrifice itself. In fact, many times we find in the Gospel promises of happiness and bliss that Jesus makes to those who decide to follow him. But already on earth, being with Jesus involves the complete certainty of being on the right path. But those who work with Jesus to build his kingdom often encountered difficulties. Just as the third man in the Gospel today. How, in the vineyard of the Lord, they have set their hand to the plow and immediately pulled back, abandoning their vocation... There are many who continue to sacrifice for the kingdom of God, to work seriously to defend Jesus. Every man and every nation is called to follow Christ unconditionally, whatever the price of sacrifice... Am I ready to follow Jesus unconditionally?
29 September, Thursday
Readings: Dan 7:9-10, 13-14 or Rev 12:7-12; Jn 1:47-51
Feast: Sts. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, the Archangels
Today is the feast of the archangels. The Angels are mysterious creatures, and in mysterious form speaks Daniel in the famous prophecy about the Son of Man. Daniel does not name the angels.They are really mysterious beings. They are presented as men from the suave and sweet face, not as terrible beings and frightening, but they are the manifestation of the power and holiness of God, to help us to worship with dignity.
They are called archangels because of the mission entrusted to them. Michael means “who is like God?” is our protector; Gabriel means “the power of God” is the messenger of good news and Raphael means “God heals” is the healing angel and is our guide. In the Gospel, we see that the Angels are at the service of the Son of man. Jesus said to Nathaniel, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” Jesus alludes both to the vision of Daniel and the vision of Jacob, who in his sleep sees angels ascending and descending on the place where you lie down and that gives the sense of God’s presence in all places of the earth.
Angels of God are therefore at the service of the Son of man, Jesus of Nazareth; our worship is not directed to the angels, but to God and the Son of God. The Angels are servants of God that he, in his immense goodness, brings to our service and help us to have a deeper sense of his holiness and majesty and simultaneously a sense of great confidence, because these beings are terrible in our service, are our friends. Let us ask the Lord to make us really understand the holiness and majesty, because we prostrate with increasing reverence in his presence, before his Angels.
30 September, Friday
Readings: Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5; Lk 10:13-16
Memoria: St. Jerome Priest and Doctor of the Church
Let us thank God for the great and the best gift of Holy Scripture: the gift of his love, ancient but ever new gift that we must explore it in faith. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us precisely that our treasure is ancient and at the same time modern. And every age is invited to descend into this inexhaustible mine and dig and go deep to find new treasures. The current way of studying Scripture helps us to discover new aspects, which help us to better appreciate the variety and richness. Thus it continually renews the taste and interest in the study of the Bible.
We know that Scripture is studied only in good faith. The Holy Scriptures writes Paul to Timothy can instruct for salvation, obtained through faith in Christ Jesus. The study of Scripture is made by faith, which guides. To have faith we must first understand a bit of Scripture, because if you do not understand anything of salvation, it is not possible, so come to believe, it is necessary to do some study. But on the other hand to deepen the Scripture one needs faith, belief and understanding. If someone has the sense of spiritual things deeply, understands the Bible even if one has no culture, because faith illuminates the eyes of his heart and this illumination is more precious than all the resources of science, which can shed light on secondary issues, but not they reach the center, which is the ‘right’ of the faith.
We must not despise the arduous study of the scientists, because their efforts are necessary to penetrate the faith in all areas of life and all ages. But God revealed the treasures of Scripture not only prudent, but also to those who are less gifted, through faith, divine light. We are therefore grateful to the Lord for this treasure that we all use, and help to develop it together with scholars, because science helps to understand the Scriptures, but even more it helps to holiness.