The first steps in Rome, during our formation program, lead us through the tracks of our Founder, St. Vincent Pallotti.
We turn to you, Francis, and we ask you: Teach us to remain before the cross, to let the crucified Christ gaze upon us, to let ourselves be forgiven, and recreated by his love.
Job 9:1-12, 14-16; Psalm 88:10bc-11, 12-13, 14-15; Luke 9:57-62
The gospel reading for today speaks to us of discipleship. Many people in Galilee and Judea were captivated by Jesus and became his disciples. The disciples became devoted followers of Jesus. They accompanied him on his journeys throughout the countryside and towns of the land of Israel. In this gospel St. Luke gives us examples of the first contact Jesus made with some who wanted to be his disciples.
Matthew 18:1-5, 10
Pictures of their young children are a prized possession of many proud parents. They value especially the wholesomeness and spontaneity that children reveal in candid snapshots taken without posing. In such pictures, children reveal their innocence. They are at an age where everything around them seems good and beautiful. They expect and depend on the love and care of their parents. And they respond to their parents with their love. It is about young children that our Lord speaks to us in today's gospel reading.
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.
The month of October each year is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. This is primarily due to the fact that the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated annually on October 7th. It was instituted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection that she gives the Church in answer to the praying of the Rosary by the faithful.
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)
The following day of the formation program of our young sisters was marked by a great event, which will be written with golden letters in the pages of the history of our Congregation. On September 15, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, at the Church of SS. Salvatore in Onda and at the feet of St. Vincent Pallotti, Sr. Marie Louize from Rwanda took her perpetual vows.
The gospel selection today is one that proves the adage, “The Gospel is ever new.” The “newness” is not that the words we read or hear were never there before (and thus new. Rather, the “newness” is that I have changed and the gospel passage is being heard, in a sense, by a new me.
Jesus first asks his disciples a factual question, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” The people who have been listening to Jesus consider him a prophetic presence like John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets. They see Jesus as a man of God and thus special like the prophets were.