26 Sunday in Ordinary time
Today's gospel is about the lives of two unhappy people.......an unhappy pauper, and an unhappy rich man.
However, when we hear about the fate of the carefree rich man, we are for sure scared.
Surely, it cannot be true, that if we have richness and a good life on earth, we will be lost in hell?
Is this not true that everyone who experiences poverty and a scarcity of basic things, and a life of great unhappiness will go to heaven?
Our being or not in heaven will never be determined on the basis of what we have or not achieved in life.....or, on how many days we were happy or unhappy.
The gospel reminds us each time, that our life on earth is not everything, because death equalizes everyone.....rich and poor.
Jesus wants to help us understand that very often the rich man has more than he needs, and very often keeps everything for himself. However, his wealth serves no other but himself and consequently he puts his trust in what he has.
The rich man also believes that money has given him a happy life. However,this is not true, and besides material goods for many never buys love, trust, or happiness.
The result is the man will imagine that he is "happy". Although we know this is not true, we need to hear Jesus' words of encouragement and affirmation.
It depends on us as to whether we can prevent not just our unhappiness, but if we can prevent the unhappiness and poverty of the people who have lost everything.
It depends on us, as to whether what we have, we will be able to use it to show more brotherly love and to minimize the poverty of others.
It depends on us, and thanks to such acts, whether we will be happy here on earth and after our death. If we are to live only for our own satisfaction...this road will lead us to nowhere.
When we are giving of our own goodness, we are not giving just happiness,we become like God opening our hearts and sharing His love. Maybe some will forget what we do, but God never forgets.
27 Sunday in ordinary time:
Today, who can say these words, "be uprooted and planted in the sea”? Of course we can say this everyday but these words would be empty words.
Does it mean we do not have faith?
Of course not. We have faith……some times deep faith, but we do not have the power to do the impossible,
When we see our life and we are thinking about ourselves…our life is a fight between good and evil. We are not angels, we are human beings full of imperfections.
This is the reason that very often we see that we are so far from God, His commandments, and from His gospel. …This is just our thinking….God loves us for who we are and He doesn’t need us to do anything spectacular.
He gave us the small "a mustard” seed…and He will be happy when this mustard seed will start to grow. But….we are thinking this is not enough in our life and so we are thinking like slaves.
But, the difference between our thinking of "being a slave” and God’s thinking of "being a slave” is totally different.
We are like a child to God, who is over us but He is still our Father with a better understanding of how we should live.
Our Father wants to give us a deeper faith, but we must ask Him to increase our faith.
28th Sunday in ordinary time
The situation for the ten lepers, in todays gospel, was hopeless. They knew that nothing could help them any longer, so, they called out asking, "Master, have mercy on us."…..and then a miracle happened…when they left they were healed. Once again, God shows us that for Him there is no hopeless situation. There is no point in our life when He will be deaf to our pleas. Even death, that for us is very often a losing battle, for God it is a tool of victory and a new life.
However, we need a stronger faith and trust……because, when faith is the foundation of our lives, it gives us the certainty (assurance), that God is able to do everything.
Trust is the knowledge that God always wants something better for us.
Also, as the gospel teaches us we need to learn gratitude. Of course, God does not need this but we do. This is a sign for us that we accept His goodness. Gratitude can also build a relationship in some way. We should be thankful to God everyday……every moment, every event, for every person we meet originates from God.
Unfortunately, we do not think this way very often.
Let us call out today, not only for Mercy on us, but let us ask for gratitude and understanding. We should be happy people as the healed samaritan, because where there is gratitude there is happiness.
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Widow……lonely woman……..without health…..rejected to the margins of society……..is looking for defence from her enemies. We do not know why she is not going to somebody who is close to her. She is not trying to share her unhappiness with someone else, but is coming directly to the judge…..the man with a social position and who can help her.
Although this man, has no fear of God and has no respect for any human being, …….reluctantly helps her.
We are in a much better position, because, although in our thinking, God is also a judge….His actions and His feelings for us are totally different.
When we accept His help…He does not listen to our voice because He wants Holy peace, but because He loves us…..He listens to our voice because asking Him we are His child.
Will God not grant justice to His chosen ones who cry to Him day and night?
Yes, we need to ask in order to be heard. Our prayer should be like knocking on the door.
Sometimes, it seems to us that heaven is closed. This is not true. Heaven is open for us, only WE are closed…….. often trying to deal with things ourselves. God is always ready to listen to us, but we do not have time to knock. Although we may think at times that our prayers are a waste of time, we must be against this thinking…our prayers should remain.
Let us not neglect prayer, because our life depends on the effectiveness of our faith.
30 Sunday in ordinary time
As the Pharisee begins his prayer of thanksgiving.... we hear only his praise and worship proclaimed for himself. He is so happy with his life and expects God should also be proud of him. He compares himself with other people and makes it clear that he is better than others.
A completely different man, a tax collector prays.....from the beginning he recognizes his faults...regrets them and beats his breasts. He does not seek to justify his deeds. He knows he cannot forgive himself and so he prays to God. "God be merciful to me, a sinner!" Is it not surprising to us that he came out from the temple justified?
Today, Jesus wants to show us the value of prayer.
Prayer, should always praise God....in asking and in thanksgiving. Prayer can be a chance for us to evaluate our lives. Prayer can become an opportunity for insight into our interior which we ourselves only know. In this way we can recognize that we cannot please God and our fellow man, and as the second man we can show our self better as we stand before God in truth.
We do not have anything to pretend...we do not need to explain anything because He knows us. God likes real people. So our prayer may be only visible and thus becomes a waste of time. Is this true? Who we are only depends on whether our relationship with God will be passive or a very close relationship.