Reflections

Saturday of 28th Week of Ordinary Time, October 17, 2020

THE SPIRIT OF JESUSTHE ACTIVE SPIRIT

Introduction
When St. Paul speaks to us about God’s power at work in us and in Christ and the Church, in parallel passages he says this is the work of the Spirit. The Spirit unites and animates the Church. He is the Spirit of wisdom. He is the same Spirit of whom Jesus speaks: The Holy Spirit who will teach us what to say and do in times of persecution. Let this Spirit be with us in this celebration.

Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
let the Holy Spirit, the bond of love
between you and your Son,
be present here among us.
May he bind us together in faith and love
and help this little Church here to be
all you want your universal Church
to signify to all:
the people of your good pleasure,
rich in hope and life and joy
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!

1 Reading: Ephesians 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.

Responsorial Psalm PS 8:2-3AB, 4-5, 6-7
R. (7) You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.

O LORD, our LORD,
how glorious is your name over all the earth!
You have exalted your majesty above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings
you have fashioned praise because of your foes. R.

When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you set in place—
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him? R.

You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honour.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet. R.

Alleluia John 15:26B, 27A
R. 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
In this passage from Ephesians, Paul speaks of the post- Easter Christ. God raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand far above every category of being in the heavenly court. He gave him the preeminent name of “Lord,” the title proper to Yahweh alone. All of creation is made subject to him, and finally he is made head of the church, which is his body. Christ then has become the summation of all things because not only humanity but all things have been touched by redemption.
It is this theology that regulates our thinking on the environment and the nature that surrounds our life. The degradation of our universe, often done in the name of progress, has reached alarming proportions.
Global warming is not simply hypothesis. It has been clearly established. Unless we are prepared to do something about it, life on this planet will be severely affected within the present century. Ecology has become a pronounced moral concern that, if not affecting us, will seriously affect our children. A Claretian recently wrote his thesis on the Ethics of Ecology.
Jesus in the Gospel commends us for confessing him before others.
A faith concern for our environment is one of the ways in which he can be confessed. There is a lesson here that directly concerns the school and the home. Let us open our hearts and our minds to those activists who are seriously trying to enlighten our consciences on a matter of primary importance. Today in Nigeria, we have a massive national youth protest tagged #ENDSARS. Its initial intentions that seek total disbandment of that unit of the police force and reform of the entire Nigerian police, have metamorphosed into socio-political agitation for the restructure of the entity called Nigeria. It is the brutalized Jesus in the youth that is crying for help. We must join in action.

Intercessions
– That the Spirit of strength and trust may be given to those who are persecuted for following their consciences and standing up from their integrity, we pray:
– That the Spirit of love may be given to those who want to grow in love of God and people, we pray:
– That the Spirit of unity make us one heart and one soul in our communities, that we may do for one another what Jesus has done for us, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
this piece of bread
and this draught of wine
will bring us the life and joy
of Jesus, your Son.
Let his Holy Spirit unite us closely
with Jesus, the head of his body, the Church,
as living stones of his community
of faith and hope.
We ask you this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
your Son has spoken his message to us.
By the power of the Holy Spirit
give us the strength to speak it
for all and to all as good news,
without fear or compromise.
Let him renew and unite us
as your people of hope and joy,
who proclaim with our lives
that you are our Father
and Jesus our Lord for ever. Amen!

Blessing
Like Paul we give thanks to God for the people’s faith in Jesus Christ, a faith that makes them also love one another. And we pray that this faith may endure and nourish our hope, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

ST IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH PRAY FOR US

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