05 September, Monday
Readings: 1 Cor 5:1-8; Lk 6:6-11
Feast: St. Teresa of Kolkata
Again the question of Sabbath! The Scribes and the Pharisees were watching Jesus, to find an accusation against him, in the synagogue whether he would cure the man who was present there with the withered or paralyzed right hand. But, Jesus was aware of their inner thoughts and intentions! Jesus is love and the love does not want much rationalization. Knowing their inner evil thoughts, Jesus said to the man, “Come and stand here.” The man got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?” After looking around at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored.
They were angry with Jesus and were discussing with one another what they might do to Jesus. But the people are in support of Jesus at this juncture of the life of Jesus. Do I strive to do good like Jesus, to save life and to bring about healing? Do I support people who are trying to stand for justice in the society?
06 September, Tuesday
Readings: 1 Cor 6:1-11; Lk 6:12-19
Before choosing the twelve apostles, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. What Jesus had to ask God in prayer, if he was the Son of God, the Son of Man, and the Lord of the Sabbath and that he could forgive sin? Was he afraid of making a mistake in the choice of the apostles, scheduled for the next day? He had to seek advice from his Father? In these questions we project the weakness of our prayer. At this time, we need to understand the mission of Jesus, that is, to choose the Twelve actually means to lay the foundations of the Church; the prayer of Jesus is prayer of communion and contemplation of the Father. Jesus withdraws for prayer and the evangelist Luke makes a point that Jesus prays before every major and important event. This attitude of prayer is a testimony of the communion of Jesus with the Father. Jesus’ prayer is free: it is contemplation, admiration of the Father. It is an expression of his outburst of love as Son.
And Jesus chose very ordinary men, who had no wealth and position. Jesus chose ordinary men for the extraordinary work of God. Jesus calls you and me every day. Do I respond? Do I pray to God before I begin my work? Do I relate myself with Jesus and the Father in my prayer? Do I recognize that prayer is depending on God and communion with Him?
07 September, Wednesday
Readings: 1 Cor 7:25-31; Lk 6:20-26
We have the Beatitudes from the gospel of Luke. It is the culmination of the teaching of Jesus and the announcement of the New Testament. Through the Beatitudes, Jesus teaches us what the true source of our happiness or blessedness is. Jesus teaches the difference between kingdom life and secular life.
The word Beatitude literally means blessedness or happiness. The source of happiness is a total transformation of our lives, that is, conversion of heart and mind. We should empty everything that blocks in our hearts and minds and actions to reach God. If so, we find happiness, and God pronounces blessing upon us, even though we are poor, hungry, weeping, or even though we are hated, excluded, reviled and defamed, and our reward is great in heaven. Our faith and hope is in the Lord and not in these worldly things. We need to hunger and thirst God alone in our daily life. Am I ready to find Jesus as the source of my happiness and blessedness?
08 September, Thursday
Readings: Micah 5:1-4; Mt 1:1-16, 18-23
Feast: Nativity of the BVM
Today we celebrate the birth of mother Mary. This feast speaks of God’s love for us. We do not find anything about her birth in the Scripture. According to the Christian tradition, in some of the apocryphal writings from 2nd and 3rd centuries, such as in proto-evangelium, a mention is made about her birth. According to this, she is the child of Anna who was devout and barren and Joachim who was rich and devout. Due to their earnest prayers, they hear the good news about the child (proto-evangelium 4:1). They named the child Mary. Her birth is the sign that God has prepared for us salvation, which will be a new heaven and a new earth (cf. Rev 21:1-5). St. Paul in his letter to the Romans he writes: “Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (8:29). This is especially true for the Holy Virgin, predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son of God and his son. And God has prepared all things according to this intention: “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God,” just before we find in the same letter.
The plan of God for her was that she had to be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. She received the Word of God, accepted and obeyed it in her life. Mary is an excellent example for all of us in many ways. She is our mother too. Even God has a plan for each one of us for the salvation of the world. We need to be aware and go forward in our life. We need to give our first preference to God. We need to care for others. Think positively. May mother Mary help us and intercede for us!
09 September, Friday
Readings: 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-27; Lk 6:39-42
First ‘take the log out of your own eye’ is the message today. Jesus does not want a blind community which does not know God and his Word. Spiritual blindness is the result of pride that governs the heart and produces the evil fruit of hypocrisy, poisonous fruit that kills anyone who tries.
Jesus wants his disciples humble, small, wise, prudent, cautious, and intelligent. He wants them to be polite in everything. He wants them to put their every attention to their spiritual elevation, moral, doctrinal, cognitive. He wants them to grow from strength to strength and from grace to grace, until the moral perfection, spiritual, cultural. Once they live in the grace of God and progress in wisdom, understanding of faith and morals, strong and alive in the Lord and for the Lord may help the brothers.
This is true humility: to know that each of us is on the way. As travellers cannot help immediately and become master to others; He must think that he needs a great time learning, growth, maturation, elevation and so it must be clothed in infinite patience towards his brothers in faith. Humility must then go to the great charity. Each correction must be the fruit of an immense and infinite love which governs the soul and spirit, mind and heart. Promise: Let us not judge others!
10 September, Saturday
Readings: 1 Cor 10:14-22; Lk 6:43-49
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good”. Because we take these and many other words of Christ as maxims of good conduct, or as mere advice that Jesus gave us and that we should strive to follow? Why do we say: “Lord, Lord” but we do not do what Jesus tells us? Now, Jesus tells us that, in him, with him and through him, we are children of God. There is a treasure placed in us by God himself. This treasure is the very life of children. The good tree similarly gives good fruit. Jesus asks us to bear good fruit, because each tree is known by its own fruits. Jesus’ words are no maximum or advice: we are indeed children of God. Our life of Christian persons, to be solidly built, must be built on this life, on this treasure place in us on the day of baptism, treasure He asks to be enriched. Jesus knows that we can produce good fruit, if we live his life. Go to Jesus through prayer and the sacraments. We go to Jesus to hear his word of truth and produce good fruit. The treasure is in us through the power of the Spirit who was given to us.
11 September, Sunday
Readings: Ex 32:7-11, 13-14; 1 Tim 1:12-17; Lk 15:1-32
XXIV Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” To an audience of grumblers Jesus tells three parables of the lost found: The lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost brother. First of all, these parables teach us that God cares about what is lost and what a great joy to experience at the discovery of what is lost. These parables also present that God is merciful and compassionate!
God addresses the critical to be on the side of the lost: the father addresses his elder son’s anger with love, peace, without apology. Jesus faces criticism until his slander, criticism that continually reproduce and almost infallibly; because, every time that the Church proposes the image of God who seeks the lost, was born the discomfort. And yet, God cares even one lost. The parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin, have the paradoxical to indicate the mystery of God who is interested in even one lost, insignificant, worthless, from which there is nothing good to be obtained. This obviously does not mean that we should neglect the many; however, it is hyperbolic image of the incomprehensible love of the Lord. For this Christian ethics comes in very demanding leaders, who do not always understand why we cannot make us a precise idea of the absolute human dignity in every phase and condition of his life.
Let us continuously search until what we have lost is found like the shepherd, house-wife and the father. God desires that each and every person is saved and restored to fellowship with Him. This restoring leads to rejoicing in the heavenly community. Promise: Let us pray for one another.