Readings for Friday October 29, 2010
First Reading: Philippians 1:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 111
Gospel: Luke 14:1-6
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?” But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. Then he said to them “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” But they were unable to answer his question. (Lk 14:1-6)
How great are the works of the Lord! Creation of the heavens and the earth, delivering Israel out of Egypt, turning water into wine, feeding 5,000 men with a few loafs and some fish, His glory and resurrection; the list could go on and on about all of His great works! Throughout the bible we are told of the great works of the Lord, and each of us could tell of the great works that He has done in our lives as well. Today's readings show us one of His greatest works in our lives ... giving us the right perspective. Since the beginning God has provided for us; and all that He has asked from the beginning is for our love and loyalty. But as is our nature since the fall, we rebel, find ourselves in terrible situations and come crawling back to God; and how does God respond? He takes us back with open arms, and He tries to give us the same perspective that He has always tried to give us: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus tells us that this is the greatest of all commandments.
In today's gospel, Jesus reduces everyone around Him to silence by giving them a new perspective. He challenges their old way of thinking, into a new way of thinking, and thinking that puts God and others first. This new perspective provides freedom from the law of man, and freedom through Christ Jesus. This challenging of a new perspective is kind of what happens in our lives when God or someone else challenges us in a way that we are living or a direction we are headed; this is God's way of giving us a new perspective for our lives, and reminding us of our mission, which is to get to heaven. God puts things on our hearts, or events in our lives, or people around us to help us to refocus on Him. He uses these things to make sure that we are seeing things as we should, and that with every decision, there are thoughts of God's will.
To really have a good perspective on our lives, then we need to be seeking the Father's will. Saint Paul understood this need for the right perspective when he told the church at Philippi; "And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ ..." (Phil. 1:9-10)
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. We praise you for the many gifts in our lives and we ask for your forgiveness for all the times that we turn away from you. Lord, be on our hearts and minds at all times so that we may make every decision with thoughts of you and your will for us. Lord, increase our faith so that we may follow you no matter what. We pray for all those who are seeking you. We pray for all those who are suffering from addictions, may you deliver them from these dangerous habits that lead them away from you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.