Accept No Substitutes

Readings for Thursday November 11, 2010

Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, bishop

First Reading: Philemon 7-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 146
Gospel: Luke 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”
Then he said to his disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.” (Lk 17:20-25)

When going grocery shopping, I just simply love the "off brands." Not only do they save you a lot of money, but they also taste just as good. Who needs "honey nut Cheerios" when you can have "honey nut toasted oats?" Who needs the fancy packaging of "wonder bread" when you can choose from a wide assortment of the "Kroger brand breads?" Who needs "poptarts" when you can have "toaster treats?"

While "off brands"might work out great for our food or household items, we must accept no substitutes for our faith and who we choose to follow. Jesus warns us today about how the disciples will not see His coming in His glory, but that they need to be wary because others will say "Look, look, there He is!" or "Look, look, He is over there!" Jesus is warning them and us to not be fooled into following a false promise and a lie. There will be many distractions and many people trying to veer us off the path that God has laid for us. We must be strong in our faith, and pray for the strength and the will to stay the course, to not veer, and to be steadfast in our journey. If we follow Christ first, and only Christ, then we will be blessed enough to see Him in His glory in heaven.

Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Help give us the strength this day Lord to follow you with a strong faith and hope, loving you first and all others that you put into our lives. Lord God, we pray for all those struggling in their faith journey and all those seeking you in their lives. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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