Thought for the Week
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
Laredo, Texas October 23-29, 2022
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Sirach 35:12-14,16-18. Psalm 34. Timothy 4:6-8,16-18. Luke 18:9-14.
World Mission Sunday is the annual worldwide Eucharistic celebration for the Missions and missionaries of the world. This year theme is: “You shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8) Pope Francis states that being a witness “is the central point, the heart of Jesus’ teaching to the World Mission Sunday and invites us to witness our faith as disciples". This day is a unique, global effort for the entire Church to provide for the building up of over one thousand local churches in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, Latin America, and Europe. Through the work of these missionary churches, and their witness to Christ, the poor receive necessary and practical help which allows them to experience God’s love, mercy, hope, and peace in their lives and communities. Archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas
Sirach tells us that the “God of justice hears the cry of the poor…is not deaf…to wailing…responds and judges justly and affirms the right.” We say, “Where is this God in all the tragedies, wars and selfishness?” “Why doesn’t he just strike dead all the perpetrators?” The other half of this equation of answering prayers and doing justice is the human being, who has free will. God is answering prayers by encouraging us and challenging us to do our part. We human beings have the power to solve our problems, if only we would answer the prayers and petitions of the poor and oppressed. We are God’s ambassadors and stewards in this world. We have to take up the arms of compassion, charity and love and overwhelm the world with goodness. Not so easily done. We get discouraged and see that our puny efforts don’t amount to much. If we have such a defeatist attitude, nothing will change. Each link in the chain has to do its part until it can finally, fully encompass evil. We must trust in the power we have been given and do our part. One grain of sand does not make a beach but a whole slew of sand does.
St. Paul tells us of the anguish he suffered when no one came to his defense in court. He did not despair but trusted in God’s support and presence. “I have kept the faith.” Paul sees his fidelity as a bulwark, a support to the faith of all the Gentiles. A priest once told us that the fidelity of parents who remain committed to each other after all the kids have flown the nest, validate by this commitment everything they have taught their children. As a consecrated person, I have tried to apply this to my own life. What I have taught through the example of my life and teachings is validated, if I remain true to Jesus Christ.
We may say, “But I pray every day - in fact, a number of times a day. I keep the commandments. I give to charity.” Are we beginning to sound like the Pharisee in today’s Gospel? Actually, we have only done what is required. What merit is there in that? The tax collector recognized his sinfulness. He did not make much of himself and saw his place in the world – a poor creature who needs mercy and forgiveness.
It’s all those little sins that get us every time. We fail to see our shortcomings or even recognize all we have failed to do. In reference to conversion St. Francis of Assisi liked to say, “We have only just begun…”
- Simon and Jude, apostles, are remembered on Friday. Little is known of their lives. They ministered throughout the Mid-East and were martyred in Persia. They are prayed to for desperate cases.
Take heart “little flock” you are loved and beautiful in the Lord Jesus. You have many talents and gifts waiting to blossom. Trust in the Lord Jesus as your guide and place your feet in his footsteps. Go in peace and humbly trust in God’s promises,
Sister Rosemarie Goins, a Felician Franciscan