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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

TUESDAY OF THE 32ND WEEK OF THE YEAR I: A WORD ON THE READINGS

 (You will find the short reflection on the readings below the readings)

First Reading

Wis 2:23:3:9
God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.


But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19
R. (2a) I will bless the Lord at all times.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.

Gospel

Lk 17:7-10
Jesus said to the Apostles:
"Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
"Come here immediately and take your place at table?"
Would he not rather say to him,
"Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished?"
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
"We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do."




A WORD ON THE READINGS
A possible danger in misunderstanding Jesus’ statement in today’s gospel reading is to have the impression that Jesus encourages proud attitude of masters towards their slaves or those under us. Certainly not. Jesus was only trying to use what was the case in his society at that time to teach us what it means never to glory in our works but to give all glory to God.

Jesus wants us to consider ourselves as unworthy servants such that everything we do also becomes unworthy. It is not our right to give value to our actions but to allow God to give value to them. Through this means we shall give glory to God otherwise we end up in praising ourselves instead of God. But who has ever done any God on his/her own accord? It is only God who gives us the ability to do good and since without Him we can do nothing, we should always recognize His great strength behind us urging us to move ahead. Those who realise that God is the motivator of all they do and the owner of all their good works are those who were described in the first reading.

Oftentimes, we feel our spiritual life is good enough to guarantee us heaven. Or we think our academic success is because of our efforts and we feel proud about it. In a sense, sainthood is not a reward but a compensating privilege. That is why many who think they will be there do not make it. The grace and mercy of God is at our disposal always to assist us to give all glory to God. Mother Theresa of Calculta says, “we are pencils in the hands of God”, God does the writing and we only reflect what is written. 

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