Reflection for July 2022

Community Word: Disciples of Christ are empowered to build God’s kingdom
Order: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself.” (Lk 10:27)

Reflection:
Our Community Word for July reminds us that there is indeed still much more to be done to promote the Kingdom of God. And as empowered Christian disciples we are called upon to help in the work of the Gospel. We can turn life’s challenges into opportunities for those who want to know God more and who are hungry for His word. Even if we feel insignificant, we can be an influential force in the lives of others. God calls us to lead others to Him; all we have to do is speak the truth in love and set a Christ-like example for others. The Community Order for July directs us to – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself.” (Lk 10:27). Indeed, true love is the foundation of God’s Kingdom.
The theme for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time is – We are empowered to build God’s Kingdom as we bring the Gospel of Christ to every household. As His missionaries, Jesus encourages us to spread His gospel wherever we go, sharing His merciful love, peace, and joy. “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few, so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest,” (Lk 10:2). Every follower of Jesus should share in His mission to proclaim the good news of Salvation to all. This is both a privilege and a task. We are to give our all in proclaiming Jesus’ message of salvation and to testify to His saving love. In accepting this mission, no matter what the obstacles may be, there is joy in serving in His vineyard, for our promise is expressed in Luke 10:20b – “…rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
On the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the theme is – We are empowered to build God’s Kingdom as we show compassion and care to the helpless and the marginalized. The gospel can be summed up in one word – LOVE. “And who is our neighbor?” (Lk 10:29b). The unlovable, the unjust and arrogant, our persecutor or enemy – we have to love them all. How do we show love? Not to judge but to understand. To love is not to avoid but to help them, not to ignore but to search out for them, not to criticize but to reconcile with them. Love of neighbor demands that we express sympathy and concern, to ease the struggles of those who are hard-up and to do it with sincerity, without counting the cost. So, we bring the promise of the gospel to the last, the least, and the lost: “The Lord hears the poor, and his own who are in bonds, he spurns not,” (Ps 69:34).
We are empowered to build God’s Kingdom as we choose to listen to the words of Jesus and act on His teachings – is the theme for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The gospel of Luke about Martha and Mary is a good example of a relationship of heart and hand – a balance between prayers and deeds, combination of words and works. Our prayers must be seen in the way we live our life. It is said “preach what you believe, practice what you preach.” We pray and act, we praise God and we yield good things for Him. Every disciple must not only spend time in loving service, but such must be balanced with prayerful meditation on the word of God and constant reflection on the teachings and examples of Jesus. Jesus tells us: “…. you are anxious and worried about many things,” (Lk 10:41b). This is a reminder that as much as we need to work, we also need to be alone with God, to make both our work and life meaningful and grace-filled. In Psalm 15: 2,5b, we are given this assurance when we live a spiritual life: “One who walks blamelessly and does justice, who thinks the truth in his heart, shall never be disturbed.”
The theme for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time is – We are empowered to build God’s Kingdom as we honor the Father and persistently pray for our needs. There is no spiritual life to speak of if praying is not our way of life, for prayer is essential to live a purposely life. It is our communication life-line to God. Our prayer must be persistent, a constant habit, and more importantly, the expression of our love and commitment to God. Jesus asks for only one thing in praying – to have perseverance in prayer. When we pray, we show our complete trust in God, believing and being confident that He will respond to us and to our intercession for others, in His perfect will and in His perfect time. We are challenged to know what we pray, believe and live what we pray for. For this, Jesus assures us, “For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened,” (Lk 11:10).
For the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, our theme reminds us – We are empowered to build God’s Kingdom as we guard against greed and worldly attachments. The world is one source of temptation that greatly influences our way of thinking and living. It strongly promotes idolatry by excessive devotion to something or someone that replaces our devotion to God. It entices us to value ungodly desires and to indulge in what displeases Him. Our hearts can be filled with pride, selfishness, gluttony, love for possessions and eventually, rebellion against God. The best guard against worldliness is to allow our minds to be renewed by God’s word and to live a transformed life pleasing to our Lord. When we do, we can look forward to this promise: “When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory,” (Col 3:4).

Prayer:
Dear Lord of the Harvest, continue to inspire us to be humble and willing laborers in Your vineyard. Grant us the grace to be truly part of Your mission to spread the gospel of love and build your Kingdom on earth. Give us the joy in our hearts as we minister to the poor, testify to your word, persevere in our prayers and share our blessings with those who are in want. Amen.

 
 

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