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Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Wednesday Mass 5/27/2020

Reading 1 ACTS 20:28-38

At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus:
“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock
of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,
in which you tend the Church of God
that he acquired with his own Blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth
to draw the disciples away after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,
I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
And now I commend you to God
and to that gracious word of his that can build you up
and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.
I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
You know well that these very hands
have served my needs and my companions.
In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort
we must help the weak,
and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

When he had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They were all weeping loudly
as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
for they were deeply distressed that he had said
that they would never see his face again.
Then they escorted him to the ship.

Responsorial Psalm 68:29-30, 33-35A, 35BC-36AB

R.    (33a)  Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Show forth, O God, your power,
the power, O God, with which you took our part;
For your temple in Jerusalem
let the kings bring you gifts.
R.    Sing to God, O Kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God,
chant praise to the Lord
who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens.
Behold, his voice resounds, the voice of power:
“Confess the power of God!”
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Over Israel is his majesty;
his power is in the skies.
Awesome in his sanctuary is God, the God of Israel;
he gives power and strength to his people.
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia JN 17:17B, 17A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 17:11B-19

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name
that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”

O Mary,

you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain,
keeping your faith firm.
You, Help of Christians and Mother of Perpetual Help,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

Surviving This World

“I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.” John 17:14–17

“Consecrate them in the truth.  Your word is truth.”  That’s the key to survival!

Scripture reveals three primary temptations we face in life: The flesh, the world and the devil.  All three of these work to lead us astray.  But all three are conquerable with one thing…the Truth.

This Gospel passage above specifically speaks of the “world” and the “evil one.”  The evil one, who is the devil, is real.  He hates us and does all he can to mislead us and ruin our lives.  He tries to fill our minds with empty promises, offers fleeting pleasure, and encourages selfish ambitions.  He was a liar from the beginning and remains a liar to this day.

One of the temptations that the devil threw at Jesus during His forty day fast at the beginning of His public ministry was a temptation to obtain all the world has to offer.  The devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the Earth and said, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”

First of all, this was a silly temptation given the fact that Jesus already was the Creator of all things.  But, nonetheless, He allowed the devil to tempt Him with this worldly enticement.  Why did He do this?  Because Jesus knew we would all be tempted with the many enticements of the world.  By “world” we mean many things.  One thing that comes to mind, in our day and age, is the desire for worldly acceptance.  This is a plague that is very subtle but affects so many, including our Church itself.

With the powerful influence of the media and the global political culture, there is pressure today, more than ever, for us as Christians to simply conform to our age.  We are tempted to do and believe what is popular and socially acceptable.  And the “gospel” we are allowing ourselves to hear is the secular world of moral indifferentism.

There is a powerful cultural tendency (a global tendency due to the Internet and media) to become people who are willing to accept anything and everything.  We have lost our sense of moral integrity and truth.  Thus, the words of Jesus need to be embraced more today than ever.  “Your Word is Truth.”  The Word of God, the Gospel, all that our Catechism teaches, all that our faith reveals is the Truth.  This Truth must be our guiding light and nothing else.

Reflect, today, on how much of an influence the secular culture has on you.  Have you given into secular pressure, or the secular “gospels” of our day and age?  It takes a strong person to resist these lies.  We will resist them only if we stay consecrated in the Truth.

Lord, I do consecrate myself to You.  You are the Truth.  Your Word is what I need to stay focused and to navigate through the many lies all around me.  Give me strength and wisdom so that I may always remain in Your protection away from the evil one.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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