Readings for Monday October 26, 2009
First Reading: Romans 8:12-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm
Gospel: Luke 13:10-17
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Rom 8:13)
African hunters have figured out a clever way to catch monkeys; they take a coconut, slice it in half and hollow it out. Then they cut a hole on one side just big enough for the monkey's hand to pass through. They put an orange in the coconut, secure it back together and tie one end of the coconut to a tree. When the monkey smells the orange they will come an try and get it, the monkey will put its hand in the hole and try to pull out the orange, of course the hole is too small for the orange to go through. So the monkey will sit there and struggle with trying to get the orange out while the hunter comes by and throws a net over the monkey. Sadly, the monkey could have saved its own life if only it had been willing to let go of the orange.
I tell this story not to advertise or condone any sort of monkey entrapment; but rather to make a point. Like the monkey, we have a tendency to hold on to the things that lead to our enslavement. We are just not willing to let go of the earthly things and be free. We all struggle with letting things go, what does the orange represent in your life; is it expensive things, money, lust, greed, envy, power, positions, etc? If we are ever to thrive in this life and to be the good, faithful servants that we are all called to be, then we must be willing to "let go of the orange."
Saint Paul wisely tells us today that "by the spirit we must put to death the deeds of the body." If we are willing to let go of, and put to death these deeds of the body, to open ourselves up to God and to live by His spirit, then we will have abundant life. I pray that we all open ourselves up to the spirit, and surrender ourselves to our Father in heaven, who out of pure love and mercy has adopted us as His beloved children.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, you give us more than we ever deserve, thank you for your great love and mercy. Lord, help us to let go of the things that tie us down to this world, to open our selves up to a life for you, a life filled with love, joy and faith. Lord, if we want to be happy, then we would all do well to follow you, help increase our faith so that we do not veer off this path. We pray for all those in need of conversion, and all those who are lost in this world. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.