Exodus 23:20-23; Matthew 18:1-5, 10
Belief in guardian angels has enjoyed a venerable history in Christianity and, before, that, in ancient Judaism. The primary meaning of angel is “messenger,” and the primary mission of angels is mediation. From a theological perspective, angels help solve a critical problem in monotheism. How can God be involved in the world and continue to be God? The distinction between the godness of God and the “not-godness”-to invent a word- of the world is critical if one is to avoid falling into pantheism—the divinization of the world—on the one hand, and radical monism—the notion that all is divine, on the other. Angels mediate between God and the world, delivering the messages of God to us and allowing God as God to avoid direct contact with what God is not, namely the limited, contingent world of ours.
Baruch 1:15-22; Luke 10:13-16
In today’s Gospel, Jesus has harsh words for people living in two towns. They were with him, heard him speaking, and saw what he did. However his presence, preaching, and actions did not move and transform them, did not cause them to recognize if they are on a wrong path and need to change their ways, and did not lead to a conversion experience. His words for people in Capernaum were even stronger because they not only ignored but even rejected him and his Good News.
▪ During one of the General audience Pope Francis called the attention of the people as he was teaching the catechsis on Mosaic Law. He said all hypocrisy is born of a fear that holds us back from speaking the full truth. It leads us to a life of pretense. Therefore, let our yes be yes and our no be no. To act otherwise is to jeoparadise the unity in the Church.
After six years of life experience with the Pallottine Missionary Sisters, Sr. Clémentine Murekatete made her final commitment on 15th September 2021, on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, at Masaka, in St. Peter and Paul Catholic Parish of the Archdiocese of Kigali.
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR THE 107th WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES 2021
[26 September 2021]
TOWARDS AN EVER WIDER “WE”
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, I expressed a concern and a hope that remain uppermost in my thoughts: “Once this health crisis passes, our worst response would be to plunge even more deeply into feverish consumerism and new forms of egotistic self-preservation. God willing, after all this, we will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those’, but only ‘us’” (No. 35).
8. TO PRESERVE
"Every man at first sets forth the good wine, and when they have drunk freely, then that which is poorer. But thou hast kept the good wine until now".
Preserve love for every season. This is what reason dictates. And the Host praises the wedding party for keeping the good wine until the very end. This is not very prudent. The wisdom of love allows it to persist when it seems all is over. The miracle of transformed love, costs those who stay...despite or in spite of circumstances, in spite or in spite of reason, in spite of...in spite of...those who stay because of...the love they have received and keep. Like servants carrying water, faithful witnesses of transformation.
8. THE WORD OF GOD – DIALOGUE
Patroness of the month - Mary, Mother of the Word, pray for us
Hear, O Israel! Mary, daughter of Zion and Mother of the Word, fulfilled this Old Testament’s invitation perfectly. She preserved it, pondered upon it and faithfully hid it in Her heart. This allows us to be more mindful of God and of man.
Intention of the month
Let us pray for all apostles and missionaries, so that the Word of God may always be proclaimed, the Eucharist may be celebrated and that the gift of God's Love may be brought to all people.
At first glance, today’s readings portray a Jesus who’s a bit difficult to recognize. Here one reads of a Jesus laying down the law in no uncertain terms. In sending out pairs of what today we might call advance men, he prescribes a whole list of explicit do’s and don’ts -- what to bring and what to wear, where to eat and sleep, what to say and when to be quiet. He even instructs them how to act if they are shunned, including a warning of dire consequences. Isn’t this same Jesus of patient compassion who loved to tweak the noses of the Jews’ religious leaders for their rigid enforcement of the law to the neglect of the true faith, justice and love that comes from the heart?
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 or Revelation 12:7-12ab; John 1:47-51
In a Hebrew spirituality, full of a sense of reverence and awe before God, there was a reverence about even talking about God directly. The angels made it possible to talk about attributes and the activities of God - that was both indirect, and full of faith. The hand of God, the arm of God, the mouth of God, the messenger of the Lord, the justice of the Most High.
"El" is one of the Hebrew words for "God." "Mica-el" means "who is like God." "Gabri-el" means "God is strong." "Rapha-el" means "God heals."
Zechariah 8:20-23; Luke 9:51-56
Elijah Call Down Fire – by Bill Osborne
Both readings today speak of "resolution," a decision made with clarity and dedication to the outcome, whatever that outcome may be. Now, one has only to ponder a moment or two to realize how unfashionable resolutions are in our time. We joke about New Year's resolutions every year. We are suspicious of tough-minded, resolute leaders or politicians who don't seem to take into account other ways of seeing reality, don't seem to care about the interconnectedness of life, that "your" resolution might very well mean "my" being ignored or injured. We often suspect that firmness and determination and strictness might mean doing something or being bound, "tied," by something we really don't want.
The Gospel for today addresses the question: Who is the Greatest? The setting is a discussion of Jesus with the disciples. The text says: “An argument broke out among the disciples as to which one of them was the greatest. Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he took a child, stood him by his side, and said to them: “Whoever welcomes this child in my name, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, also welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the greatest.”
Talk about being attentive to the presence of the Lord in our midst…….Jesus puts it very clearly to us: God is present in everyone we meet.
Numbers 11:25-29; James 5:1-6; Mark 9:38-43.45.47-48
John said to Jesus, «Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.» Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe (in me) to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.' Mark 9:38-43.45.47-48
Jesus makes what seems to be a strange suggestion. He tells us to dismember ourselves rather than allow sin to cast us into hell. Obviously, he is not commanding us to do self-mutilation. This would be morally wrong, because Christianity teaches respect for the body. We are stewards for all that God has given us. Christ challenges us to radical spiritual "surgery" to our sense of values. We must root out all that entices us away from God and from heaven. This implies not mortification, but modification of what we want out of life. Instant pleasures bring long-term suffering. (By R. Lonsdale)