AD SENSE

29th Week, Monday, Oct 19

29th Week, Monday, Oct 19

Ephesians 2:1-10 / Luke 12:13-21

Paul talks about Christians: We were saved by God’s grace.

 

One Good Friday morning, a Protestant minister set up a stepladder in order to drape the cross outside his church with a black cloth. Because of the shrubbery encircling the cross, the ladder was resting in an awkward position. The minister climbed the ladder and tossed the end of the cloth over the cross. As he did, the ladder slipped and began to tip. The minister threw his arms out and grabbed the vertical bar of the cross, saving himself from what could have been a serious fall. After he regained his bearings, the minister said his experience gave him a new appreciation of how we have been saved by the cross of Christ. He acquired a new understanding of what Paul talks about in today’s reading.

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How aware are we of having been saved, in a personal way, by the cross of Christ? On Calvary, Christ crossed out our sins, individually and collectively.

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It can be said that life is the most difficult exam. Many people fail because they try to copy others, without realizing that everyone has a different question paper. Who among us can say that we never desired to be richer, higher and have more. We get these desires not out of nowhere, but from looking at others and then wanting to get what they have and even be who they are.

 

In the gospel, Jesus has a teaching for us that will help us in looking at life when He says: Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man's wealth is not made secure by what he owns even when he has more than he needs.

 Then He tells a parable about a rich man who had a bountiful harvest and made plans for securing his future with his wealth. And he was called a "fool" because he thought that his wealth was the security for his soul, without realizing that his wealth may belong to him but his soul belongs to God. 

We can say that the rich man failed in the exam of life because he was foolish enough to think that his wealth can save him. 

But as the 1st reading will remind us, that is by the grace of Jesus Christ that we have been saved through faith. Not by anything of our own, but by a gift from God. Not by anything that we have done, so that nobody can claim the credit. 

Let us not be so foolish as to fail in the exam of life. We must realize that there is no greater wealth in this world than peace of mind and that God loves us with so much love and He is so generous with His mercy that He has already given us a place in heaven. We only need to be grateful and thankful to pass the exam of life.

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Monday of 29th Week of Ordinary Time

SAVED BY GRACE

Introduction
Ephesians gives us the very fundamental message of our gratuitous salvation by the death and resurrection of Christ. Life, real life, comes through him. We have not done anything to deserve it and we can’t do anything to merit it. All we are, we are by the grace of God. It goes perhaps against the grain of our human thinking, but we are dependent beings, a gift from God living by the gifts of God. And yet, this should not be humiliating, for it is in accordance with our human nature. We are dependent, yes, but we are loved – and this is what changes everything.
When Jesus speaks out against the rich, he does not intend to condemn them but to liberate them. What he denounces is not the fact that they have material goods, but their own attachment to them and the use they make of their riches: for hoarding, for selfish enjoyment, or – as some rich countries do – stockpiling wheat in silos or using oil for economic and political pressure. The value of possessions is relative to the goods of the kingdom, to justice and love. What counts is to be rich and wise before God.

Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
we are your work of art.
When we were vowed to death through sin,
you called us to life
through the death of your Son.
God, open us to your love and life
given for free as a gift
without charge or regret
and give us thankful hearts.
May we learn from you and your Son
to place ourselves in the service
of our brothers and sisters,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Commentary
Our psalm today speaks of God’s steadfast love, which endures forever. If these were the sentiments of an Old Testament believer, how much more do these words resound in the Christian heart? Paul speaks of his pre-Christian life and that of his fellow Christians. This was a life lived in the darkness of sin, subject to ethereal powers. Dominated by desires of the flesh, we were, says Paul, “children of wrath,” destined for destruction. But God in his great mercy has raised us up with Christ as Exhibit A of his boundless grace in Christ Jesus. By that grace we have been saved through faith.
When we read this in conjunction with today’s Gospel, in our hearts we know that there are better things in life than barns filled with grain. The trouble is that we don’t always act that way. If we had an estate in the Hamptons or a yacht that took us on a tour each year, they would be overshadowed by that great gift of new life in Christ Jesus.
Our hearts are lifted up by philanthropists who use their fortunes on behalf of the less fortunate. With their millions they are fighting our most devastating diseases and giving hope to the desperately poor. They are not waiting for some future date to make their bequests but acting now. This is a lesson from today’s scripture. Yes, wealth is to be shared.

Points to Ponder
Using our goods for others
The danger of wealth
God’s greatest gift: our faith

Intercessions
– For grateful hearts, that we can thank God for changing us from strangers to him into his sons and daughters in Christ, we pray:
– For loving hearts, that God has brought us peace with himself, with one another, and even with ourselves, we pray:
– For wide-open hearts, with which we can love the many brothers and sisters God’s grace has given us in the Church, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
you let us use these offerings
as gifts from your hands
to eat and drink the life of your Son.
Confirm us in your grace
without any claim to our own merits
and let the Spirit of Jesus help us
to live the good life of your Son
which you had meant us to live
from the beginning and for ever.

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
what else can we do
than give you thanks and praise
for speaking to us through Jesus
and strengthening us
with his bread of life?
May what we say and do
and all of our lives
be a gift to those around
and an act of gratitude to you,
our God for ever and ever.

Blessing
All is grace, all is a gift freely given. Even the use of our talents and our work is God’s gift. Let us also give freely to our neighbor, like our love to the people close to us, but also our help to people who suffer, even if far away from us. And may almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.