GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 31ST OCTOBER 2016
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 31ST OCTOBER 2016
MONDAY OF THE 31ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
1ST READING: Philippians 2:1-4
PSALM: Psalm 131:1-3
GOSPEL: Luke 14:12-14
THEME: BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the “saint of the gutters”, is quoted as saying, “When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.”
Selfishness is at the heart of the problems of the world. Sometimes we focus so much on the “self” to the extent that our deeds, even those that appear to be acts of generosity, are tainted with selfishness. Someone gives you what appears to be a “gift” but in reality it is only a bait to pull you to his/her side. Another person invites you to a dinner with an expectation that someday you too would reciprocate.
Jesus counsels a Pharisee, a host of a dinner, in these words, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luk 14:12-14).
It is an invitation to practice the works of mercy without any expectation of being rewarded by a human person or institution. A mark of a genuine work of mercy is selflessness.
The theme of selflessness is further buttressed in our First Reading. Paul writes, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others” (Phi 2:3-4).
Perhaps, it may do us some good to pause occasionally and ask ourselves, “WHY am I doing WHAT I am doing?” In other words, what is my real motivation?
The blessedness of the merciful lies in the fact that their reward comes from God. May we consider stepping out of our comfort zones today and to reach out to those in need without blowing our trumpets or attracting undue attention to ourselves.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you feed me daily at your Eucharistic table with food that I cannot afford by myself. May your generosity inspire me to reach out to the needy and do to them what you do to me daily. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).