Ezekiel 18:25-28; Ps 25:4-9; Philippians 2:1-5; Matthew 21:28-32; Philippians 2:1-5; 21:28-32
Dear Holy Spirit, fill the hearts and minds of your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your of love. This is part of an ancient prayer of our church. It is part of what we are praying in today’s Psalm 25. We are asking God to lead us into his truth for our lives and not what we or the “politically correct” government wants. For some of us who want God’s wisdom in a confusing world, we need God’s guidance. Amen?
We are asking God to lead us into his truth for our lives and not what we or the “politically correct” government wants. For some of us who want God’s wisdom in a confusing world, we need God’s guidance. Amen?
The first reading from Ezekiel speaks of moving away from the bad things in life to God’s ways. That is, repenting of our past sins and the culture we live in to be faithful to God. We shall live a new and happier life if we turn to living God’s ways.
Celebrating St. Theresa and St. Francis
Our daily Masses celebrate so many saints in the last two thousand years who have been enlightened to be faithful to God’s ways, to living in His kingdom, not my kingdom or the world‘s. Today, October 1, is the remembrance of St. Theresa, the little Carmelite saint. Many follow her “little way.” Yet because it is Sunday, she is overshadowed by the Sunday focusing on Jesus.
Wednesday many throughout the world remember of St. Francis of Assisi. He was instructed by God to help rebuild the church of his day. Franciscans have been continuing that work for some eight hundred years in many different ministries.
On Thursday some of us will celebrate Jesus’ Good News through Helen Kowalska, now St. Faustina Kowalska. On February 22, 1931, Jesus began a series of appearances to Sr. Faustina. He asked her to be a messenger of his love and mercy to all of humanity.
“I have opened My Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust” (Diary 1520).
Another time Jesus told her,
“I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself but radiates them to other souls,” (Diary, 1074).
Chaplet of Divine Mercy
On another occasion Jesus appeared with red and pale rays issuing from his heart. He instructed her to have a picture painted of him with the inscription “Jesus, I trust in You.” Jesus said the rays are “highways,” into his heart of love. Get on one of those rays and go directly into his heart. Great blessings will flow from Jesus’ love for us. I get so excited about going into the loving heart of Jesus.
He reminded us that the two greatest prayers / sacraments are the Mass and going to Reconciliation or Confession, asking Jesus to forgive our sins frequently. We are also encouraged to pray at three o’clock, the hour Jesus died on the cross. Jesus gave us a new, simple rosary called the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. A new Novena of nine days bringing various groups of souls to him for mercy. There were other elements to Jesus’ instructions, yet these I see are the most important and can be done easily every day during our prayer time with him.
Following these instructions is like the father’s son in the gospel story today who finally did what his father asked of him after first saying no. One son refused yet then went to do what his father asked. The other son said yes but never went to work. I pray we are the ones to go to do our heavenly Father’s bidding.
At this moment today, we have a mission to go into the world with the good news of Jesus Christ to invite others into the Merciful Heart of Jesus, our shepherd and savior. Amen!
Have a wonderful week,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2017 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)