AD SENSE

27th Week, Friday, Oct 9

Galatians 3:7-14 / Luke 11:15-26

Paul speaks about salvation: Faith, not the Law, saves us.  

A cellar wall in Cologne, Germany, contained a beautiful testimony to faith in God. Workers found it while clearing away debris and rubble from a bombed-out house. Written on the surface of one of the walls were these Words:  "I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when I do not feel it. I believe in God even when he is silent."  

The unknown author's faith is a model of the kind of faith that Paul exhorts us to strive for in today's reading. It is the same kind of faith in God that our father in the faith, Abraham, had.  

Do we realize that our faith is a gift, and do we ask God to increase it? "I do have faith, but not enough. Help me have more!" Mark 9:24 

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Very often, life is like a paradox; it can be filled with so many strange contradictions.

We might think that  when something good is done, people would be simply happy and even rejoice and celebrate.

But yet for every good that is done, there are criticisms and even slanderous remarks that are made that leaves a sour and bitter taste in the mouth.

But that should not be very surprising to us, isn't it?

Because it happened to Jesus. He was doing something good by casting out demons.

Yet some people could even say that He was in cahoots with the devil. Absurd, isn't it? Maybe it can be said that the most difficult demons to cast out are those that like to criticize, to find fault, to argue regardless of the facts or the truth. That kind of demonic behaviour exists in each of us. In this Eucharist, let us ask Jesus to cast out that kind of demonic behaviour in us. Let us ask Him to cleanse the temple of the Spirit that is within us. And with Jesus in our hearts, let us gather people into the unity of the Spirit.

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Friday of 27th Week
FAITH, LIKE ABRAHAM’S

Introduction
Abraham, our Father in the faith, was a man who lived according to the gospel before Jesus proclaimed his Good News. He trusted God; he followed God’s call without questioning God and demanding proofs. All he got was a promise to believe in, and of that promise he himself – as God told him – would never see the fulfillment.
In sharp contrast, with Abraham, the people of the promise in Jesus’ time challenged and questioned him, especially the religious leaders. Even the signs of liberation from evil that Jesus gave them did not impress them as signs to believe in. What is our attitude toward the signs of God’s care in our lives?

Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
faith is all that matters to save us.
We know it, and yet we seek proofs.
Help us to believe in you
on seeing your works:
your creation, your power,
your goodness that we encounter in people.
Grant us to live in trust
with the uncertain certainty of faith,
believing, hoping, loving
and trusting that you have set us free
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Commentary
Who are the true descendants of Abraham? This is the question that Paul raises in today’s reading from Galatians. The answer, of course, is those who have faith. In fact, Abraham was told that all the nations of the earth would be blessed in him. This means those who have faith, as Abraham did, not those who attempt to obey the law. In fact, those subject to the law are under a curse. Scripture teaches that those who have faith shall live. Faith and law are at counter-purposes; justification comes from one or the other.
The curse reserved for the law observer has been assumed by Christ himself. Now the faith of Abraham may be extended to the nations. It is this faith that saves through the gift of the Spirit.
Paul worked tirelessly in promoting faith in Christ Jesus as the sole cause of salvation. To promote circumcision or any precept of the law was to detract from the saving work of Christ. And for Paul that was nothing short of blasphemy. Works in the Christian life proceed from faith; it is the justified person who works in charity. Works do not lead to faith or bring about justice.
The Gospel today reminds us that temptation still remains our lot. Our justification must be highly prized, which means that we must be on guard. The forces of evil still try to overtake us.

Points to Ponder
Paul and the faith of Abraham
The curse of the law
Dealing with evil

Intercessions
– That like Abraham, our Father in the faith, Christians may put themselves trustingly into God’s hands, we pray:
– That by the grace of God we may be good people who are a blessing to others, we pray:
– That our hearts may not be divided, but that we try to live sincerely the way of the gospel, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
our faith reassures us
that Jesus your Son,
already present in this community of faith,
will give himself to us in person
in these signs of bread and wine.
Strengthen our faith,
that we may sow and gather
on the side of your Son
and with him live in your love
now and for ever.

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God, we thank you
for nourishing our hesitant faith
with the word of your Son
and with his bread of strength.
Engrave his message in our hearts
that it can never be erased
and keep us going without any need
of proofs and signs,
in the certainty that you love us
and that, even in trials and challenges,
you will lead us home to you
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessing
“Lord, make our faith grow!” That should be our cry from the heart. We ask the Lord for a deep faith that accepts him on his word and that lets his message and his person guide our lives. May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.