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Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Saturday 11/7/2020

Reading 1

Brothers and sisters:
I rejoice greatly in the Lord
that now at last you revived your concern for me.
You were, of course, concerned about me but lacked an opportunity.
Not that I say this because of need,
for I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself,
to be self-sufficient.
I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances;
I know also how to live with abundance.
In every circumstance and in all things
I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry,
of living in abundance and of being in need.
I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.
Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress.

You Philippians indeed know that at the beginning of the Gospel,
when I left Macedonia,
not a single church shared with me
in an account of giving and receiving, except you alone.
For even when I was at Thessalonica
you sent me something for my needs,
not only once but more than once.
It is not that I am eager for the gift;
rather, I am eager for the profit that accrues to your account.
I have received full payment and I abound.
I am very well supplied because of what I received from you
through Epaphroditus,
“a fragrant aroma,” an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
My God will fully supply whatever you need,
in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm

R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
So that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.”

The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all these things and sneered at him.
And he said to them,
“You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”

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.

False Images of Ourselves

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And Jesus said to them, “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:14-15

“God knows the heart!”  What a great truth to be deeply aware of.  So often in life there are misconceptions we have of others and misconceptions that others have about us.  This passage goes to the heart of this tendency of the Pharisees to create a false image of themselves for others to see and to care little about the inner truth that only God is aware of.

So what is more important to you?  What do you prefer?  Are you more concerned about the opinions of others or the truth of your life in the mind of God?

This struggle can go two ways.  On one hand, like the Pharisees, we can strive to present a false persona of ourselves to others while, at the same time, God is fully aware of the truth and is aware of the false image we are trying to portray.  On the other hand, we may find that others have a false image of who we are, which can cause us much hurt.  When this happens, we can be led into anger towards others and tend to irrationally and excessively defend ourselves.

But what is important?  What should concern us?  The truth is what matters and we should care little about that which God is not concerned.  We should care only about that which is in the mind of God and what He thinks about us and our lives.

Reflect, today, upon your tendency to worry about what others think about you.  Know that God wants you to live an honest life by which you present yourself in the truth.  Do not be like the Pharisees who were obsessed with the flattering and false images others had of them.  Worry only about living in the truth and what is in the heart of God and leave the rest to Him.  In the end, that’s all that matters.

Lord, help me to see what is in Your heart and help me to have concern only about how You see me.  I know You love me and I know that You want me to live fully in the truth.  May Your love be the guide of my life in all things.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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