28th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Eph 1:15-23
Brothers and sisters: Hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus and of your love for all the holy ones, I do not cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the Church, which is his Body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
Gospel: Lk 12:8-12
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. “Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”
ASSISTANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: Jesus is a never-failing friend. He will give us the assistance of the Holy Spirit in everything we engage in. We need to stand by Jesus facing whatever suffering it may bring. Look at the boldness with which the martyrs of Uganda faced. The Holy Spirit gave them words and boldness to stand for the gospel values and oppose the evil. Those simple young boys could not have spoken such words of wisdom if the Spirit had not given them the courage and words. That is the case with other martyrs in the church. Jesus assures that when we stand for him, he will stand for us before the heavenly Father on the judgment day. All that we do to witness our faith will be acknowledged and rewarded. In Jesus we have a sure friend. He will not leave us unaided in our struggles to proclaim the gospel.
Prayer: Lord, help us to proclaim our faith in good times and bad times.
A TRUE FOLLOWER: A true follower is one who has faith, and believes in God. In the first reading, Abraham is regarded as the father of all nations because of his faith. God does not like those who only follow the law but those who have faith in it. Jesus also states that whoever acknowledges him on earth, will also be acknowledged (by Jesus) before the angels in heaven. A true follower also does not sin against the Holy Spirit because when this happens, forgiveness is blocked. As Christians, we need the Holy Spirit in our lives. He is our guide and advocate. When we are wrongly cornered, God’s spirit advocates for us. He gives us the right words and wisdom for our defense against our charge. Let us have faith in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
PRAYER: Lord, may your Holy Spirit be our advocate and enlighten us.
FAITH IS LOVE: Paul explains to his listeners that true relation with God is possible only through faith. It is not mere fulfilment of precepts and laws. Abraham is our father in faith who believed, hoping against hope. Faith is active and visible in love. That is what the first commandment is all about – with all heart and mind love God above all things. Jesus takes a step further and joins into one the commandment of love of God and of neighbor. The one who believes loves God and loves the neighbor well. Faith, therefore is a gift of self to the other. To love is to believe without conditions, hence it is the highest expression of faith.