28th Week, Thursday, Oct 15th

Ephesians 1:1-10 / Luke 11:47-54

Paul talks about blessings: Christ is the source of great blessings to us.

The famous marathon runner Bill Rodgers said that a retarded person, named Joe, was the source of a great spiritual blessing in his life. The smallest act of kindness shown Joe or the smallest object given him made Joe brim over with gratitude and joy. This impressed Bill greatly. He admired Joe’s ability to focus on the good things in life, no matter how small, and overlook the bad things, no matter how big. “Taking Joe as my example,” said Rodgers, “I began to downplay the discouraging parts of my life and focus on the good things.”

Joe was to Bill Rodgers what Christ is to us: the source of great spiritual blessing. What person is a great source of blessing to us? “We can preach a better sermon with our lives

than with our lips.” Oliver Goldsmith (adapted)


Whether it is used in the secular or religious sense, the word "blood" has a connotation to the aspect of life. In a blood transfusion, it can be said that life is given to another person who has lost much blood. When blood is shed, it means that people are injured or killed in a spate of violence or war. In the religious sense, and especially in the Christian sense, when blood is shed, it means that there is forgiveness of sins and a new life is given. That is what the 1st reading means when it says that through the blood of Christ, we gain our freedom and the forgiveness of our sins. And of all the spiritual blessings that God has blessed us with, the most precious is the Blood of Christ that was shed to save us. What we receive at Holy Communion is the Body of Christ. And the Body of Christ points specifically to His Heart. At Holy Communion we received the Heart of Christ. And just as the heart pumps blood to all the parts of the body, we receive the Heart of Christ at Holy Communion and it is His Blood that flows in us that brings us forgiveness and healing and brings us to life in Christ. And just as Christ shed His Blood on the cross to save us, He now sends us forth into the world to bring about forgiveness and healing and salvation.

We carry the Blood of Christ in our bodies. May we also like Christ, offer our lives for the salvation of the world through reparation and making sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins.


Thursday of 28th

From this week until Thursday next week, we read from Ephesians, which is perhaps not directly from the hands of Paul. Today’s reading is a long “blessing’ in the Jewish style, a thanksgiving for our salvation in Christ. God has chosen us and destined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ, who is to become the head of everything.

Opening Prayer
Lord God of the covenant,
we thank you for the gift of faith
in your Son Jesus Christ,
in the forgiveness and love
which he brought us from you.
All you let us touch and feel
is pure grace and a free gift.
Give us grateful hearts, Lord,
that recognize your goodness
in nature, in people around us,
and above all in your Son Jesus Christ,
who lives with you and with us now and for ever.

The first ten verses of the Letter to the Ephesians are rich in Pauline theology. Three words stand out very vividly: mystery, redemption, and adoption. The mystery of God consistently in Paul’s thought is the plan of salvation in God’s Son that was concealed from eternity and revealed only in these final days. Redemption means the acquisition of humanity from the throes of sin “by the blood of Christ.” But redemption does not signify simply moving from a state of alienation to one of favor. It means “adoption.” Through the gift of the Spirit, the living bond between Christ and the Father, we are made part of that life, not by nature as was true of Christ, but by adoption. Christ becomes brother and God becomes “Abba” (Father). Finally, since all of creation has been touched by Christ’s saving blood, the ultimate part of the mystery of God means that all things are summed up in Christ in heaven and on earth.
This is as complete a summary of the work of God in Christ as we will find in the New Testament. It apply points to the extent to which we have been favored. When we are encouraged to walk in the Spirit, we are moved by the realization of what this mystery entails and the extent to which God has loved us. To sin seriously is to turn our backs on this goodness and to walk in another direction.
The Lucan Jesus today reminds the Jewish leaders that they have taken away the “key of knowledge.” Not only have they not entered, but they have deprived others of entry as well. Our time in this life is limited indeed; let us use it with the gratitude of members of God’s household.

Points to Ponder
The mystery of God
Redemption in his blood
Adoption in God’s family

– For all who witness to the truth, that the Spirit may put the right words in their mouths, we pray:
– For all of us, that we may do our tasks in life honestly and with zeal, we pray:
– For all who celebrate the Eucharist, that the Lord Jesus may make us trustworthy and authentic persons, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
God, loving Father,
what is there that we can give to you
which you have not given us first?
Accept these gifts
which you let our hands transform
into tokens of our gratitude.
And let us join in the thanks and praise
of your greatest gift to us,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Thankful for all you have given us,
we ask of you today
God, our loving Father:
make us, in turn, generous and liberal
to all whom we encounter in life.
As we have received freely from you,
may we learn to give with open hands and hearts,
without asking or waiting for a word of thanks,
and giving ourselves with our gifts,
as Jesus did, your Son,
who is our Lord for ever and ever.

Let us thank God for all the graces he has given us, especially our faith and our Lord Jesus Christ among us. Let us also be grace and blessing to one another, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.