12 September, Monday
Readings: 1 Cor 11:17-26, 33; Lk 7:1-10
Feast: Holy Name of Mary
Today we have the story of Centurion who approached Jesus for the healing of one of his household slave. Centurion was very prestigious man and not a Jew; but the Jewish elders say to Jesus that he deserves this help of healing, because he loves Jewish people and in fact he has built a synagogue. The centurion instead says that he is not worthy. It shows the humility of the centurion. He is a man of profound faith; he turns towards God in his helplessness and need. He firmly believes in the Word of Jesus, saying “Speak the word, and let my servant be healed.” And his prayer to Jesus is for the love of the other; so, he is great man of charity. Jesus himself was surprised of centurion’s faith and said, “Not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
God is our Father. He knows what we need. His heart is pleased when we express to him our needs. But God expects us to have filial relational attitude towards him and have absolute trust in him. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” We need to learn to be merciful in day today our lives so that we may obtain God’s mercy. Let us increase our devotion to the Holy Eucharist wherein we say the words, “Lord! I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”
13 September, Tuesday
Readings: 1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31; Lk 7:11-17
Memoria: John Chrysostom
Today we remember gratefully St. John Chrysostom (349-407). As a priest in Antioch and as a bishop in Constantinople, he was a faithful proclaimer of the Word of God. He dedicated himself to evangelization, catechesis, and liturgy, charitable and missionary activities. His preaching in the areas of morality and social aspects brought him tough opposition and as a consequence he was exiled (404-407), where he died. To his credit, he has various commentaries on the books of the Scripture and especially on the Pauline letters.
God visits his people, always accompanied by new life. The Lord comes to us to manifest all his omnipotence of love, kindness, mercy and compassion; even the dead be raised at his coming. In today’s gospel we have the incident where Jesus raises the dead young man and son of a widow in a town called Nain (for a similar story in the O.T., read 1 Kings 17:17-24). Raising the dead man is the great result of the compassion of God the Father who manifests and reveals Himself. A disciple of Jesus, who loves, manifests the presence of God among his people. Jesus teaches us that if our light of love is bigger, the more the world will see God in his servants (disciples). Through our works, let us manifest God and open the hearts of faith in Him. The Word along with our Works will help us grown in light.
14 September, Wednesday
Readings: Num 21:4-9; Phil 2:6-11; Jn 3:13-17
Feast: Exaltation of the Cross
Exaltation of the Holy Cross introduces us to an aspect of his heart that only God himself could reveal to us: the wound caused by sin, and ingratitude of man becomes a source not only of an overabundance of love, but also a new creation in the glory. Through the folly of the Cross, the scandal of suffering can become wisdom and promise of glory to Jesus can be shared by all those who wished to follow him. Death, disease, the multiple wounds that man receives in the flesh and in the heart, becomes an opportunity to take more intensely the life from God himself.
With this feast, the Church invites us to receive this divine wisdom which Mary fully lived at the Cross: the suffering of the world, madness and scandal, becomes, in the blood of Christ, cry of love and the seed of glory for each of us.
15 September, Thursday
Readings: Heb 5:7-9; Jn 19:25-27
Memoria: Our Lady of Sorrows
Today the world has so much in need of mercy and compassion. The feast of our Lady of Sorrows gives us a true compassion and profound lesson. Mary suffers for Jesus, but also suffers with him and the passion of Christ is the participation in all human pain.
The liturgy makes us read in Hebrews the feelings of the Lord in his passion: “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications; with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death.” The passion of Jesus is imprinted in the heart of the mother, these loud cries and tears have made suffer, the wish that he was saved from death must have been in her even stronger than in Jesus, because a mother wants the child be saved. At the same time Mary has joined the mercy of Jesus, as he was submissive to the will of the Father.
For this the compassion of Mary is true: because he really took upon himself the pain of the Son and accepted the Father’s will with him, in an obedience that gives the true victory over suffering.
Our compassion very often is superficial compassion; it is not full of faith as that of Mary. We easily see, in the suffering of others, the will of God and it is right, but do not really suffer with those who suffer.
We ask Our Lady to join us in these two feelings that form the true compassion: the desire that those who suffer bring back victory over their suffering and they are released and along a deep submission to the will of God, which is always the will of love.
16 September, Friday
Readings: 1 Cor 15:12-20; Lk 8:1-3
Women played an important role in Jesus’ life; mother Mary and other women had an effect in his life and ministry. Christ has enjoyed the friendship with some of them like Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus. In today’s gospel passage, the evangelist Luke mentions some of the women who were accompanying Jesus and benefited from him: “The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.”
Jesus has a different way to welcome and choose women: he accepted their valuable collaboration and included in his large family, and thus wants to emphasize that the favourites of the heart are those returning to the fold, sinners and sinners converted. History confirms that often the most ardent of love, gratitude and apostolic fervour, is Conversion; persons who after suffering the distance from the Lord, they then enjoyed an embrace of mercy and were seen covered with new dignity and allowed by the Heavenly Father to the festive banquet in the family home. It is the style of God, often so different from our human ways. The first women were then marked the history both in witnessing the heroic courage to follow Jesus to Calvary, while the apostles were fleeing, terrified by the events that threatened to involve them in person, either in the endless line of so many others, who have consecrated themselves totally and exclusively to the Lord.
17 September, Saturday
Readings: 1 Cor 15:35-37, 42-49; Lk 8:4-15
Today, we have the parable of the Sower for our reflection. This is striking parable because it is demanding. We have to reflect ourselves that what kind of soil we prepare ourselves, in which the word will produce fruits from the seed. Here we look at, admire and contemplate the will of God, who wants to sow in our hearts. The seed is abundant: “A sower went out to sow his seed.” The Son of God came among men to pour out God’s life and to sow abundantly. Let us realize and acknowledge the care of God, who sees our lives as a field to be fertilized. Our God is a demanding God because he is a generous God.
And his generosity still gets farther. God is the only one who can prepare the soil of our hearts because it is ready to accept his word. Of course, we must be vigilant to avoid the pitfalls of the tempter, to remove the stones and thorns, but only our trust, our confidence turn to God from whom comes all that is good. God wants to fertilize our lives. May he also prepare our hearts! We are poor in front of him and only the invocation addressed to him from the depths of our misery can ensure that we become “good soil”.
18 September, Sunday
Readings: Am 8:4-7; 1 Tim 2:1-8; Lk 16:1-13
XXIV Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s gospel, we have the parable of the Dishonest Manager followed by a series of warnings related to the parable that is about the use of money. The parable, of course does not appreciate the fact of dishonesty, but because it has the clarity and decision to take the only way to salvation. Jesus rebukes us to be away from the worldly evils, especially the danger of wealth and money in particular, of which the Gospel calls the mammon of the devil of iniquity. Jesus on his part has done everything that we might be saved, by sacrificing his life on the cross for us. He has taken our sin upon himself and offered his life for us.
Money is always a dangerous temptation! Too risky! The mind will become exhausted in calculations; Anxiety grows as grows the capital ... And then taxes! And the worry of how to evade them! “He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. One who honestly administers the riches of this world, he/she will be rewarded with a wealth in heaven which is imperishable and does not fail.”
As we reflect on this parable of dishonest manager, do we think that Jesus is praising dishonesty and encouraging corruption? No, not at all! Jesus is praising the manager for his shrewdness, nothing else!
That man, in an emergency situation, when everything was at stake his future, has shown two things: extreme decision and great cunning. He acted swiftly and intelligently (although not honestly) to be safe. This is the message that Jesus tells his disciples: not to secure the worldly wealth that lasts a few years, but the eternal future.