Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi - Wednesday, 4th October 2017
Reading 1, Nehemiah 2:1-8
1 In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, since I was in charge of the wine, I took the wine and offered it to the king. Now, he had never seen me looking depressed before.
2 So the king said to me, 'Why are you looking depressed? You are not sick! This must be a sadness of the heart.' Thoroughly alarmed by this,
3 I said to the king, 'May the king live for ever! How can I not look depressed when the city where the tombs of my ancestors are lies in ruins and its gates have been burnt down?'
4 The king then said to me, 'What would you like me to do?' Praying to the God of heaven,
5 I said to the king, 'If the king approves and your servant enjoys your favour, send me to Judah, to the city of the tombs of my ancestors, so that I can rebuild it.'
7 I then said to the king, 'If the king approves, may I be given orders for the governors of Transeuphrates to let me pass through on my way to Judah?
8 Also an order for Asaph, keeper of the king's forest, to supply me with timber for the beams of the gates of the citadel of the Temple, for the city walls and for the house which I am to occupy?' These the king granted me because the kindly hand of my God was over me.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6
Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept at the memory of Zion.
2 On the poplars there we had hung up our harps.
3 For there our gaolers had asked us to sing them a song, our captors to make merry, 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion.'
4 How could we sing a song of Yahweh on alien soil?
5 If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand wither!
6 May my tongue remain stuck to my palate if I do not keep you in mind, if I do not count Jerusalem the greatest of my joys.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I consider all things so much rubbish
that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Luke 9:57-62
"Fit for the kingdom of God"
58 Jesus answered, 'Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.'
59 Another to whom he said, 'Follow me,' replied, 'Let me go and bury my father first.'
60 But he answered, 'Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.'
62 Jesus said to him, 'Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'
The Gospel of the Lord.
Will you say "yes" to the Lord's call for your life?
Reflection: The Gospel does not record the response from these three would-be disciples. We are only left with the question which Jesus intends for us as well. Are you ready to take the path which the Lord Jesus offers? His grace is sufficient and his love is strong. There is nothing greater we can do with our lives than to place them at the service of the Lord and Master of the universe. We cannot outmatch God in his generosity. Jesus promises that those who are willing to part with what is most dear to them for his sake "will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life" (Matthew 19:29). The Lord Jesus offers us a kingdom of lasting peace, unending joy, surpassing love, enduring friendship, and abundant life. Is there anything holding you back from pursuing the Lord and his will for you life?
Prayer: "Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess you have given me. I surrender it all to you to be disposed of according to your will. Give me only your love and your grace - with these I will be rich enough and will desire nothing more." (Prayer of Ignatius Loyola, 1491-1556) Amen.
Don't miss the good path God has set for you - it will lead to joy and freedom