September 9, 2018 -23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II)Community Word: Honoring God’s commandments bring peace to our hearts
Theme: There is peace in our hearts when we are open to God’s saving power
Promise: “Here is your God…he comes to save you.”(Is 35:4b)
Life is filled with difficulties and challenges – serious illness, family relationship in need of peace and harmony, financial indebtedness, and other endless concerns that can keep us anxious and distraught. Under such forbidding conditions, there are community members who serve as examples of fortitude and faith.
One of them is a disciple who has been undergoing medical treatment for a serious illness. Despite this, she keeps a serene life and maintains an indomitable spirit; and she firmly believes that God will save and heal her. Someone else might ask, “How?” The answer is that she nurtures an intimate relationship with the Lord.
Another example of fortitude and faith comes from a woman who is the foundress of the Holy Land in Subic, Zambales, in the Philippines. After her retirement as a bank officer, she founded and gradually built the Holy Land site from scratch, relying mainly on her faith in the Lord. She says that she communes with God in a very personal way and she encourages us that we can experience miracles in our lives also, by having a profound relationship with Him, a relationship that is filled with fondness and affection. As she says in Tagalog, “may kasamang paglalambing” (which brings to mind what Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, did to Jesus when she anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume and wiped them with her hair).
This disciple accomplished this despite the fact that she is afflicted with cancer. Although ill, she is not the least bit worried, because she places her complete faith in the saving power of the Lord and in whatever His will for her will be.
How then do we open our very being to the Lord and develop an intimate relationship with Him so that we may receive the blessing of inner peace?
We do not have to look far.
As community members and faithful Christians, we simply have to live up to the pledges we sealed with the Lord, with all our heart, mind and soul. We become strong and not fearful of any troubles and obstacles that might come our way, because the Lord is always with us and He will save us (cf Is. 35: 4-7).
In his letter, St. James tells us how close the Lord is to the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized. He asked, “Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?” (Jas 2:5). The Lord is asking us, in no uncertain terms, to be mindful of them. Its great importance cannot be expressed more powerfully than when the Lord said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me,” (Mt 25:40).
Doing so, with sincerity and love for the Lord, will open and help us nurture a relationship with Him so intimately that there is nothing we will fear. And ultimately, He offers us salvation not only for our earthly concerns but for the life to come – “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for your since the foundation of the world,” (Mat. 25: 34-40)
The Lord is indeed exhorting us to be open to Him, to place our complete trust in Him and to have a deep faith in His power to heal and to save. We can then be assured by this promise – “Here is your God…he comes to save you.”(Is 35:4b, c).
Lord, You say that You will save us who love you and will protect us who acknowledge You as Lord. When we call to You, You will answer us. You will rescue us and honor us. You will reward us with love life. You will save us. Amen
1. How profound is my relationship with the Lord? What are the obstacles in deepening my relationship with Him?
2. What incident in my life tested my faith in the saving power of God? How did I respond?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
Sept 9, 2018 (Sun) – Is 35:4-7/Ps 146:7-10/Jas 2:1-5/Mk 7:31-37
Sept 10, 2018 (Mon) – 1Cor 5:1-9/Ps 5:5-6, 7-12/Lk 6:6-11
Sept 11, 2018 (Tue) – 1Cor 6:1-11/Ps 149:1-6, 9/Lk 6:12-19
Sept 12, 2018 (Wed) – 1Cor 7:25-31/Ps 45:11-17/Lk 6:20-26
Sept 13, 2018 (Thu) – 1Cor 8:1-7, 11-13/Ps 139:1-3, 1, 14, 23, 24/Lk 6:27-38
Sept 14, 2018 (Fri) – Nm 21:4-9/Ps 78:1, 2, 34-38/Phil 2:4-11/Jn 3:13-17
Sept 15, 2018 (Sat) – 1Cor 10:14-22/Ps114:12, 13, 17, 18/Jn 19:25-27
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”