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NOVEMBER 8. Ord Time B. Wk 32. Mon. Lk 17. 1-6

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Obstacles are sure to come, but alas for the one who provides them! It would be better for him to be thrown into the Sea with a millstone put round his neck than that he should lead astray a single one of these little ones. Watch yourselves!


If your brother does something wrong, reprove him and, if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, “I am sorry,” you must forgive him.’


The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.


A lesson in this reading which is easily overlooked is the grave obligation Christians have to care for others; - particularly in the area of giving good example; - a teaching we will be judged on when our time comes.


It is a lesson particularly relevant to parents, as they are the ones with a duty to introduce their children into the Christian way of life. I fear parents who have children, and then show, by their lives, there is no need to pray or acknowledge God should be particularly concerned.


But the lesson applies to all of us as we are all called to live, and bear witness to the teachings of Christ. This means we have a duty to demonstrate the virtues taught by Christ such as kindness, mercy, generosity, patience, humility etc. A duty we frequently “overlook” as it is often “inconvenient!”


The saddest aspect of this is we all know it, but few of us practice it; - the reason being we prefer to “do our own thing”, or, to put this another way; - we prefer to put our own desires and comfort before the needs of others; - a truth we do not like to acknowledge?


And Jesus speaks particularly harshly of this obligation to show good example; - “It would be better for him to be thrown into the Sea with a millstone put round his neck than that he should lead astray a single one of these little ones. Watch yourselves!”


And then he moves on to the duty to show mercy to others, no matter how many times they offend; - even in situations where we are wronged on several different occasions; - “If he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, “I am sorry,” you must forgive him!’


Clearly, the type of life being taught here by Christ is not easy to live, and the Apostles realised this, together with the reason for it, when they said to Jesus; - “Increase our Faith!” as it is our faith that will sustain us on the journey.


Faith is the source of the strength and love that enables us to follow Christ, and if it is weak, so too will be our love and practice of his teachings; - and we need to realise this. If we do not, we will not provide our Faith with the care and nourishment it requires.


Care such as frequent reception of the Sacraments, particularly Confession and Eucharist, Devotion to Mary; - prayer and spiritual reading; - all of which are essential to a strong Faith!


Gospel Acclamation Phil2:15-16


Alleluia, alleluia!

Shine on the world like bright stars:

you are offering it the word of life.

Alleluia!


First reading Wisdom 1:1-7 Seek the Lord in simplicity of heart


Love virtue, you who are judges on earth,

let honesty prompt your thinking about the Lord,

seek him in simplicity of heart;

since he is to be found by those who do not put him to the test,

he shows himself to those who do not distrust him.

But selfish intentions divorce from God;

and Omnipotence, put to the test, confounds the foolish.

No, Wisdom will never make its way into a crafty soul

nor stay in a body that is in debt to sin;

the holy spirit of instruction shuns deceit,

it stands aloof from reckless purposes,

is taken aback when iniquity appears.


Wisdom is a spirit, a friend to man,

though she will not pardon the words of a blasphemer,

since God sees into the innermost parts of him,

truly observes his heart,

and listens to his tongue.

The spirit of the Lord, indeed, fills the whole world,

and that which holds all things together knows every word that is said.







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