Readings for Thursday October 1, 2009
Feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the church
First Reading: Nehemiah 8:1-4,5-6,7-12
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm
Gospel: Luke 10:1-12
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, ‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ (Luke 10:8-11)
In both today's first reading and in the gospel we see a clear message to all of us: when God speaks to us we should be listening. In the reading from Nehemiah, the people are taught the Law of God from Ezra the scribe. In the gospel reading Jesus sends out His disciples to proclaim the good news, that the Kingdom of God is here and at hand. It is clear in the scriptures and it is even more clear today that God is trying to reach us to give us His truth and His life saving word.
Many people in the world say things like, "I just don't see God working in my life" or "why hasn't God shown Himself?" To these people I would have to respond, are you sure He hasn't shown Himself or were you just not paying attention? It is hard for me to look out into this world and not see God; sure there are a lot of tragedies and a great deal of evil out there, but there is also a lot of good. The Creator made this beautiful world for us to live on and has blessed us enormously with life, that it if we are not careful, we can easily miss it. It is difficult for me to look at a sunset, listen to my baby girl laugh, feel the warmth of a hug from my wife, listen to a thunderstorm, or just look up into the stars without seeing God.
God is here; just as He was in the days of Nehemiah, and just as He was on earth sending His disciples out to proclaim the good news. He is reaching out to us all asking us to grow closer to Him and to follow Him to the place that He has prepared for us after this earthly life. We must always be listening and paying attention to Him in our life, otherwise it will pass us by.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, you are so good to us, we thank you for your abundant love and mercy. Lord, you have sacrificed for us, help us to surrender and to sacrifice for you. Lord, we pray for the health and dignity of people at all ages. We pray for those contemplating abortion, that they may come to see your truth and to value the life in them. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.