Paul here, as always, is all about being real. Reading his letters, we get a good view of the realities of discipleship. He shares his greetings, warnings, honest assessments of the situation on the ground, and here, in today’s reading, you can almost hear him sighing as he reflects on who has left his team, who’s remained (Luke, today’s saint!) and then sends along a list of what he needs.
It seems to me that the most spiritually deadening sentence we can utter is framed by: “If only…then I could…” As in: if only circumstances were more ideal, then I’d be able to follow the Lord more faithfully.
As Paul teaches us, not just by his witness, but through his busy, complicated life: there’s no time like the present. In fact, the only time—is the present.
As an ice breaker at a gathering, we were asked who we would like to be in the Bible? I said Paul becasue of his sense of humor, his patience for non-sense and his love for Jesus!!! This is how Paul followed Jesus and served God's people in *** Phillipians 4:11-12, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." *** 2 Corinthains 11:23b-28, "I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches." *** Philippians 1:23-26, "I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me." ******* With Paul as my example, I have no excuses.......
Amen! Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for this Gospel today. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father, most of all, for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord Jesus Christ have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory. Amen Holy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we ask that you release your warrior angels and heavenly hosts. We decry and declare that they would take us off the enemies' radar and scramble the enemies frequencies (airwaves). Your Kingdom must come now. Your will must be done right now, as in the heavens, also on earth. Amen Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host - by the power of God - Cast into hell satan and all evil spirits that prowl about the earth seeking the ruin of souls. Amen
Amy being real living faith family here is one for the books. Remember that I taught 2nd graders for 20 years until blessed covid shut us down. When I told them I was now teaching at a sister parish, I mentioned if I could help to call. They did asked me if I could help Tuesday in November, sure, this week asked me if I could help this Tuesday yes. Just got a call if I could come in earlier so we can sweep the floor in the gym where we meet. Guess that's example of being real. Incidentally I told them I don't do windows. Ken
“If only…then I could…” As in: if only circumstances were more ideal, then I’d be able to follow the Lord more faithfully. Oh boy Amy, that hit me between the eyes! Now, I pray that this ‘ol dog can learn to have the heart to follow more faithfully! As always, thank you Amy, and God Bless us all and all who we love!
Good morning...thank you Amy for the reminder that our Lord God is always present and there for us to speak to and confide in
Thank you, Lord, for always being there for me. I will follow you, uphill and down, all the days of my life. Have a blessed day my friends.
Thank you, Amy, for your much needed reminder, “the only time, is the present.” God bless you????
The "If only's" is the frame for delays and excuses. Does Paul suffer from that too as I read some alarm at his record of the lack of conversions and abandonment?
Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.
Receive a free reflection for Sundays every week via email
© 2023 Creative Communications for the Parish, a division of Bayard, lnc. All Rights Reserved.
Blessings to St Paul for writing everything down and sending for what was needed to do the work of writing his precious words for me to read today to learn about my faith and ways of Jesus and The Father in Heaven. Help me to live the way of St Paul and have the urgency he did, AMEN