Reflections

Monday of 25th Week of the Year, September 19, 2022

WITNESSING TO THE LORD
Introduction
Proverbs is a wisdom book ascribed to Solomon. Wisdom is a set of experiences and traditions taught to the young; it secularizes the prevalent “sacralization” of human thought, showing that God and the human person are not at loggerheads. God does not keep people from thinking and reflecting for themselves.
Christ speaks of the Word of God as a light that cannot remain hidden; it should shine in the lives of those who believe in the Gospel, so that they can bear witness to Christ and his message.
 
Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
you want our faith to be
a lamp placed on a lamp-stand,
so that people might see your light
and not stumble in the dark.
Speak your word to us,
give us the life-giving Spirit of your Son,
his Spirit of unity and freedom,
that we may be to the world
the new humanity of Jesus Christ,
who lives with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen!
 
1 Reading – PROVERBS 3:27-34
Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim when it is in your power to do it for him. Say not to your neighbour, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give,” when you can give at once. Plot no evil against your neighbour, against one who lives at peace with you. Quarrel not with a man without cause, with one who has done you no harm. Envy not the lawless man and choose none of his ways: To the LORD the perverse one is an abomination, but with the upright is his friendship. The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, but the dwelling of the just he blesses; when dealing with the arrogant, he is stern, but to the humble he shows kindness.
 
Responsorial PSALM 15:2-3A, 3BC-4AB, 5
R. (1) The just one shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord.
 
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue. R.
 
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbour;
By whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honours those who fear the LORD. R.
 
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
shall never be disturbed. R.
 
Alleluia – MATTHEW 5:16
Alleluia, alleluia.
Let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 
Gospel – LUKE 8:16-18
Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.”
 
Commentary
10,000-hour Rule
The “10,000-hour Rule” made famous by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers, may help us understand what Jesus means when he says: “Whoever produces will be given more; but from those who do not produce, even what they seem to have will be taken away from them.” Based on his studies on high achievers, Gladwell concludes that if one practices a skill for around 10,000 hours, he/she can become an expert in it. Though recent researchers have found holes in his findings and have argued that practice is one of the many elements that contribute to success, no one can deny that practice is one of the ‘most significant’ elements. If you don’t use a skill, you lose it. The more you use the skill, the more adept you become. The same applies to the spiritual gifts and fruits of the Spirit: The more you practice them, more of them you have.
 
Intentions
– That the light of our love may shine and bear witness to Christ in our friendliness and understanding and our sharing with the needy, we pray:
– That the light of our justice may shine in our efforts to respect the rights of everyone and in our work to bring equity and justice to all, we pray:
– That the light of our joy may shine in our sympathy and affection for one another, in our faithfulness to our friends, in our liturgical celebrations and in our sense of community, we pray:
 
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
accept these gifts of bread and wine
and let them become for us
the body and blood of your Son.
May he nourish our faith
and make us capable of bearing witness,
that in him, we can become one
and live for one another,
for he is our Lord for ever. Amen!
 
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
in this Eucharistic celebration
you have let us encounter your Son.
Let him stay with us this day,
that people may discover
how much he means to us
and what he can do with us
notwithstanding our limitations.
Not to us, Lord,
but to you and to your Son,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit
be all honor and praise for ever. Amen!
 
Blessing
To bear witness consists in calling attention not to ourselves but to God and what he can do in us, poor instruments. We can only propose what we believe and live, and then, leave the rest to God’s grace. May God give you this attitude and bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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