Readings for Wednesday September 9, 2009

First Reading: Colossians 3:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145
Gospel: Luke 6:20-26

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way. (Luke 6:22-23)

People's opinion of us are often very powerful, and many times we do not even realize the influence that this can have over us. There are many times that thought of someone having a negative opinion of us can guide our behaviors and make us do things we wouldn't normally do, or compromise in other situations. Politicians and businesses are especially susceptible to the public opinion.

Think about someone in your life whose opinion you value very highly. Is it a spouse, significant other, parent, friend, mentor, teacher, boss, other? Do their opinions of you help guide the things that you do and say? What about strangers? How much do we let the opinions of others guide how we live our lives? I am willing to bet that other people's opinions may have a greater influence on our lives than we think, whether good or bad I believe that this is something that we should all examine.

While we know that the opinions of others do play a big role in our lives, let me ask this question; whose opinion is the most important? While I do not know whose opinion that you value most highly, I know whose opinion should count above all others, and that is God's. We should not spend so much time worrying about what other people think, we should be worrying more about how God views us, rather than the rest of the world. If we live our life according to God's ways and only concern ourselves with His standards, then we will not only find joy and peace on earth, but we will also be setting ourselves up for an eternity in heaven. While living a life loving and serving the Lord may bring inner peace and joy, it will also bring a life of being judged, insults, and exclusion. This is certainly not always easy to deal with, but we must keep our eyes on the prize, we must only concern ourselves with God's standards.

Jesus tells us that blessed are those who are excluded, insulted, and denounced all because of His name that we should leap and rejoice. Why? Because after all is said and done, we will have a great reward waiting for us in heaven. Thanks be to God!

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, help us to let go of the worldly things that we think we need and that we think are important, and help to only concern ourselves with your work. Lord, your will is perfect, and we pray that we can surrender to it and only to live by your standards. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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