Reflections

Saturday in the 28th Week of the Year, October 16, 2021

DO NOT WORRY—GOD’S SPIRIT IS WITH YOU
Introduction
Faith consists in encountering a living God and taking him at his word, believing in a promise. This is what Abraham did, and God fulfilled the promise. This is, in a way, what two young people do when they embark on a marriage. They trust that they can make it, that they can deepen their relations, that they will grow in love and faithfulness. This is the adventure of the religious: they believe in a promise – that’s why they make a vow – a promise to a Christ who promises. A promise belongs to the order of love: a trust, a love, and a faithfulness that keep growing.
To those that are faithful to him, Christ promises to let his Spirit speak and work in them in times of trial.
 
Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
you can bring the dead back to life.
You want us to trust you
and to believe in your promises.
Give us a faith strong enough
to keep hoping in the good news
of your power that can renew the world,
of people capable of unity and peace,
of the joy of a fresh love
that can bear all and do all
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
 
1 Reading: Romans 4:13, 16-18
Brothers and sisters: It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes from faith. For this reason, it depends on faith, so that it may be a gift, and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants, not to those who only adhere to the law but to those who follow the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us, as it is written, I have made you father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist. He believed, hoping against hope, that he would become the father of many nations, according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.
 
Responsorial Psalm 105:6-7, 8-9, 42-43
R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
 
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail. R.
 
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac. R.
 
For he remembered his holy word
to his servant Abraham.
And he led forth his people with joy;
with shouts of joy, his chosen ones. R.
 
Alleluia: John 15:26b, 27a
Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord,
and you also will testify.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 
Gospel: Luke 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.”
 
Commentary
What is the sin against the Holy Spirit? It can only be deter-mined by context, and the context in Luke is not very helpful. The meaning can be derived from the other Gospels where it also appears. To sin against the Holy Spirit would be to attribute the work of God to evil or to call light darkness. This would be the total rejection of God’s saving plan. Jesus assures us that when we are called for an accounting of our faith in a public forum, we need not worry about what our defense will be. The assistance of the Holy Spirit is assured.
Again Paul summarizes his position on the faith of Abraham. That faith was a gift, not something earned. The descendants of Abraham, then, are those who believe as he did. He was told that he would be the father of many nations, even in his childless advanced years. He believed, hoping against hope. It is important for us to return to this fundamental teaching repeatedly in life. We will be saved because we have been gifted.
Therefore, to acknowledge Christ before others wins his acknowledgment before the heavenly court. On the human scene, a failure to profess him can be forgiven while blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot. The content of the faith profession will be provided by God himself. Through it all, his word is with us: “Do not worry.”
 
Intercessions
– That missionaries may generously leave their homes and all that is familiar to them for the sake of Christ, we pray:
– That young people may leave father and mother for the love of each other, trusting in God as their faithful companion and guide, we pray:
– That in our Christian communities we may learn to grow in love and to trust one another more, we pray:
 
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
in this Eucharist you reveal yourself again
as pure self-gift;
you commit yourself to us in love,
your Son becomes our food,
your Spirit pours out himself.
Open our eyes and hearts to realize
that you will be alive among us
and that our hopes and your promises
can become concrete realities
when we learn from you to give ourselves
to you and to our people.
Give us the courage to do so
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
 
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
we thank you for Jesus, your Son.
In the strength of his Holy Spirit
help us to say yes to your word,
and to be molded in the image of Jesus,
that we can be born anew
and become people living of the promise,
open to life and love
and looking to everything with hope,
on account of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
 
Blessing
Faith is not only a belief in certain tenets or truths, but even more, trust in a person. We believe in God. We believe in Christ. We believe in the Holy Spirit. We trust God, we entrust ourselves to the God whom we ask to bless us, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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