for Sunday, October 2, 2016
Habakkuk the Prophet tells us today: "the just one, because of his faith, shall live." You and I are called be "the just one" in our daily lives, but that will cost us our lives because it means giving up everything for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
This first reading today, from the Prophet Habakkuk, is a stern warning to the people and the leaders: turn away from all that is not of God and seek only God and God's will. That same warning can be given in every day and age. Human history does not change very much. We humans seem always to go off course and then we begin to seek not the Lord but the things that give us please in this life. We really don't want to believe that there is another life that might put some kind of requirements in this life. We prefer to think that if there is a God, that God will always accept us just as we are. This kind of thinking soon leads to a sense of no God at all and that this life is just about us getting what we can.
The second reading comes from Paul's Second Letter to Timothy. This letter gives advice to Timothy about how to live a life of faith. We need such advice, every day. The core teaching of this small part of the letter that we have heard today is this: "For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control." This relates to clear to both the first reading and the Gospel today!
In the thinking of the world, power is about control of others. In the thinking of the Gospel power is about love and self-control. We can think today about our own way of dealing with power. All of us have power over others in varying ways. How do we live out that mystery of power?
The Gospel from Saint Luke today brings us a teaching on faith: how to live our faith in daily life. Clearly we all have faith in varying degrees. We cannot judge the degree of faith in another person. We are called simply to keep our eyes on the Lord and be aware that He is with us and asks us to follow Him. We get uneasy about our faith, just as Saint Peter did when he began to walk on the water, which is not the normal happening of life. When our faith asks of us something that is out of the normal, then we often doubt our own faith. Rarely, we are able to respond with a completely giving of self—but that would be such a wonderful response if we could do it.
Today the readings call us to conversion and to seek to live in such a way that we can give ourselves completely to the following of the Lord Jesus.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Habakkuk 1.2-3; 2.2-4
Second Reading: 2 Timothy 1.6-8, 13-14
Gospel: Luke 17.5-10
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: