AD SENSE

30th Week, Saturday, Oct 31

Philippians 1:18-26 / Luke 14:1, 7-11

 Paul speaks about life: To me, life is Christ.

 

Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first native-born American saint. At 19, she married a wealthy businessman, William Seton. They had five children before he died, when she was only 29. Two years later she left the Episcopal Church and became a Roman Catholic. As a result, she was denied financial help from family and friends. At the age of 31, she had to shift for herself and raise five children in the process. Yet, before she died at the age of 46, she founded the first American parish school, the first American orphanage, and the first native American community of religious women—the Daughters of Charity.

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How dedicated to following Christ are we— through thick and thin? “I shall be full of courage, so that with my whole being I shall bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.” Philippians 1:20

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In his imprisonment Paul is faced with a real dilemma. What is to be preferred: life or death? For his part Paul would rather die and be with Christ. The affirmation is an important one because it recognizes a “being with Christ” after death and before the second coming. Yet as far as the earthly community is concerned, it is better that he lives and be of service to them. They will be able to boast in Christ Jesus all the more if he returns to them. He feels confident that he will live on for their benefit.

 

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By and large, we have the etiquette and the decorum to be shown our seats in a function or at a dinner reception. We certainly don't want to be embarrassed to take a seat we assumed to be ours only to be told otherwise. Nonetheless the parable of Jesus tells us that we have this innate desire to be honoured and maybe even exalted. Because it cannot be denied that we liked to be looked up too. For some it may even be an obsession. But for all the adulation and limelight that we might get, what and how will it matter in eternity?

In the 1st reading, we hear of St. Paul's dilemma. He wants to be with Christ but yet he knows he had to stay on for a while in order to help the early Christians progress in their faith. Yet St. Paul also knew that all praise and honour is to be given to God alone.

So, let us be aware of our tendency to be in the limelight and receive the applause. Yet all this does not matter in eternity. What matters then is that we continue to praise and glorify the Lord.

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Our Lord invites us to his table. He knows that we are people with faults, people who have hurt him and others, by the wrong we done and the good we have failed to do. Knowing who we are, he still loves us and invites us as his friends to join him at his table. Let us humbly take part in his meal and ask the Lord to make us more open to the humble, to people who have erred, and to the poor.

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Let us Pray: Our Father, who lift up the lowly, your Son Jesus came into our world as the servant of all and he cherished the helpless. With him, make us respect and appreciate the weak, the defenseless and the humble, and accept to be numbered among them. Dispose us to help them and to seek their help, for you have poured out your mercy on us too, through Jesus Christ our Lord.