Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
October 22, 2017 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A, Year I)
Community Word: Obedience to God’s will keeps us growing in holiness.
Theme: We grow in holiness when we give to God what is due His Holy Name.
Promise: “… I have called you by your name … It is I who arm you.” (Is 45:4b, 5b)
For the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus gives this direction: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s but give to God what is God’s,” (Mt 22:21). Jesus teaches us the importance of obeying civil authorities, to be good citizens, paying just taxes and following the laws of the land. But what belongs to God should be viewed in a wider perspective. It means everything that is good is God’s possession, even those things which we do not want to give up because they are dear to us – family, friendship, career, financial security, and self-respect, being accepted or understood. Even our weaknesses and failures can be given to God as a sign of our humble surrender to Him. We should place God at the very center of everything and by doing so, we even give to God those things that we render to his delegated authority, such as our parents, the government, society and church. Putting God at the center of our life leads us to being obedient to His will and keeps us to grow in holiness. This is expressed in our community word for October: Obedience to God’s will, keeps us growing in holiness.
Jesus points out that our priorities have gone awry. Sometimes, we are like the Pharisees in the gospel when we express concern over what are important to us, like job security, comfort, convenience, and recognition; we are trapped in these sense of value preventing us from seeing other things of higher value. “God created man in the image of Himself, in the image of God He created him,” (Gen 1:27). God shares with us what He has – the power to think, to will and to love. He also gives us a desire to be virtuous and good. He created our heart, our mind and our very soul to be like Him and He sustains us every moment of our life. This tells us that we owe our whole being to God.
The theme for this week is – We grow in holiness when we give to God what is due His Holy Name. There is nothing that we can do to “repay” God for all the things He has given us in the past or for the ways He blesses us each day of our life. But we can show God our gratitude by living a life of obedience and filled with love. We must be true to our words and we must be honest in our actions. We must be transparent in our relationships. What we say and do must be founded in kindness and all our intentions are for God’s greater glo00ry and not for ourselves.
Our God is mighty, holy and perfect. Though we are weak and imperfect, God does not look down on us, but in His great love He sent His only begotten Son to save us from sin and death. And to this day, He gives us His Holy Spirit to inspire, renew and empower us so that while on earth, we will remain steadfast and fruitful in our journey towards holiness. We are His beloved and it is His perfect desire to make us one with Him in heaven forever. Thus, we claim His promise for this week: “… I have called you by your name … It is I who arm you,” (Is 45:4b, 5b). For we belong to God alone and nothing else matters.
Lord Jesus, we thank you for the teaching in today’s gospel. While it is a great challenge for us, we are thankful that you have opened our eyes and directed our thoughts to what is truly pleasing to God. Sometimes, we are blinded by our own worldly sense of values, but your divine Wisdom has given us hope that we can get out from the deceiving values and false attachments of our time. Lord God, we recognize You and You alone in our life. We worship and adore You above everything else. To You we give back honor, glory and thanksgiving. Amen.
1. Do we give rightfully to God, bestowing in Him the highest place in our life?
2. As we honor God, how do we give to others what is due to them?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
October 22, 2017 (Sun) – Is 45:1, 4-6/Ps 96:1-5, 7-10/1Thes 1:1-5/Mt 22:15-21
October 23, 2017(Mon) – Rom 4:20-25/Lk 1:69-75/Lk 12:13-21
October 24 2017(Tues) – Rom 5:12, 15, 17-21/Ps 40:7-10, 17/Lk 35-38
October 25, 2017(Wed) – Rom 6:12-18/Ps 124:1-8/Lk 12:19-48
October 26, 2017 (Thur) – Rom 6:19-23/Ps 1:1-5, 6/Lk 12:49-53
October 27, 2017 (Fri) – Rom 7:18-25/Ps 119:66, 68, 76-77, 93, 94/Lk 12:54-59
October 28, 2017(Sat) – Eph 2:19-22/Ps 19:2-5/Lk 6:12-16
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”