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Lectio Divina, Sunday Gospel, Sunday Gospel Lectio Divina -

“have pity on me”

The moral of this parable is to not wait until it’s too late. When I lack faith, I doubt the consequences of my sin. It’s easier to live a life that way, I say. But there’s always a dead end. Sin does not possess the same infinite qualities that goodness possesses. This is something we can recognize in this life. We don’t have to wait for the afterlife to see sin as a dead end. When the rich man says, “have pity on me”, he missed his chance. Justice is like gravity. Sooner or later, the scales have to balance. We can’t cheat justice or the truth. Eventually, they catch up to us. If I slip and fall off a cliff, God is not going to suspend the laws of nature that govern his entire universe simply because I shout “have pity on me!” as I’m falling. By then it’s too late. But perhaps we think Father Abraham is being harsh when he says, “They have Moses and the prophets”

PRAY

Dear heavenly Father,

Through prayer, I can discover your will while here on earth, and avoid the torments described in this Sunday’s Gospel. Thank you for the wisdom you teach me. Help me to recognize the truth as I live on earth before it’s too late. Spare my loved ones from the torments of hell, and teach me to be a witness to them to help lead them to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

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Lectio Divina, Sunday Gospel, Sunday Gospel Lectio Divina -

Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep

God desires for everyone to come back to him, even those who were never part of the Body of Christ, the Church. In today’s culture, there is a crisis of fallen away Catholics. They are lost sheep, but so are those who never believed. Rejoice, Christ says, not only when a fallen away Catholic comes home but also rejoice when someone who never believed comes to the Church, since they also were lost and now are found. A nonbeliever may have never had a home in the Church, but Jesus still calls nonbelievers his lost sheep as well. We all are his sheep and we all belong to him. We all belong to the one true shepherd, who wills for all of us to be saved. 

PRAY

Dear Lord,

As I aim to be a good witness for you and your kingdom for others, keep me humble. We all need you. My goal in sharing you with others is to simply show them the great nourishment and blessings I’ve received from you, so they can share in them. Like a sheep who has found greener pastures, inspire and teach me how to show people the way to those pastures. Thank you for all you have given me, and show me how to share it with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.

Holding onto things has become our way of life. Storage unit facilities are being built more than ever before. We have savings accounts, trust accounts, broker accounts, and the list goes on. None of these things are wrong or bad or evil, but there is something better. We can give up all of these things and still be okay. Excessive concern for our possessions will make us lose sight of what is infinite and eternal. Ultimately, renunciation of the treasures of this world is at the heart of the Gospel. Earlier, Jesus used a short analogy of a king going into battle. Whenever a king (or these days, a general) went (or goes) into battle, he knows there is great risk involved. He has to calculate and mitigate the risk the best he can. History has proven though, that “fortune favors the bold”, and if you take no risk you receive no reward–and in fact taking no risk is the greatest risk of all. Okay, I’m done with my litany of cliches. My point is, that living the Gospel is the ultimate risk. It is the ultimate high-stakes game. It’s the boldest wager we can bet because we are putting all we have on the line for a reward we’ve never even really seen. In the end, we don’t even know if the reward will really come to us. But this is the condition for following Jesus. Are you all in?  

PRAY

Dear heavenly Father,

Your message is clear: unless we love you above all else we will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Oh, how I struggle to put you first. I cannot pray enough to ask for your help in this matter. Through your blessed angels and saints, please grant me the grace I need to pursue only what is true, good, and beautiful; and to stop running from you. You know my heart’s truest and deepest desires better than I do, so it makes the most sense to love you more than I love myself or anyone else. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Lectio Divina, Sunday Gospel, Sunday Gospel Lectio Divina -

When we listen to God, we remember how small we are. Sometimes I take a drive just to remember how big the world is, and how insignificant I am in the large scheme of things. This doesn’t mean I can do whatever I want and it won’t matter, because I have my own soul to tend to. In fact, when I see how big my Father’s world is, my task becomes clear. I then notice that he only expects me to get my own life in order. As St Teresa of Calcutta said, “Sanctify yourself, and you will sanctify the world.” 

PRAY

Dear heavenly Father,

When bombarded by the pressures of the world to be successful in the eyes of my peers and colleagues, it’s easy to lose sight of heaven and the values you cherish. Help me to focus on you and see that you are the only reward worth pursuing in the end. Everything else I pursue should only be a means to you. Then I will learn true humility, as I live for the one in whose presence I must always be humble. Teach me to be humble, because I believe that is the key to happiness in life. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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Lectio Divina, Sunday Gospel, Sunday Gospel Lectio Divina -

“For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."

It’s not about me. The quicker I notice that, the happier I will be. The sooner I can realize that it doesn’t matter if I get ahead, it doesn’t matter what other people think of me, the better off my day will be. And it does take daily reminders, because there’s this constant fear in the back of my mind that says I’ll be left behind. Being left behind in the race of life is not as bad as being dismissed by Jesus, though. He tells us to store up our treasures in heaven, treasures such as the virtues–because those last while the things the world tells us to chase after really do not. We will be looked down upon for upholding the values Jesus teaches, but we will have this reassurance in our souls that runs deeper than anything the world can give us. It’s that deeper meaning we’re all after, and that’s what Jesus offers.

PRAY

Dear heavenly Father,

When I come to you humbly, you remind me who I am. You remind me of the simple moments when there was just you and me, and I did not care what the world thought. Bring me back to those moments so I can recognize you for who you really are, and so you can recognize where I am from. I don’t want to come from a place of sin anymore. Show me the way back to your kingdom and help me build it up here on earth so more people can proclaim that they come from
there when they reach the gates of heaven. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

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