“Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.” (MK 9: 41)
Can people recognize that we “belong to Christ”? How about showing them through our marriage that we are Catholic: gentle, respectful, givers of selves, keeping rituals and being examples for many how to communicate and showing them our openness for life. Also our marriage could be an inspiration, a hope like “a cup of water” for many thirsty for a better relationship with a spouse.
“Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.” (REV 12: 7-8)
This war never stops: “the dragon and its angels” are fighting against everything created by God. The devil hates marriage and the priesthood; he hates consecrated life and believers, but the devil and its angels “did not prevail,” and their final situation is specified. Whenever we are in a war with the devil and its angels, St. Michael with his angels are with us to help and to protect us.
“Bless the LORD, all you angels, you ministers, who do his will.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But Herod said, ‘John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?’ And he kept trying to see him.” (LK 9: 9)
We also keep “trying to see” Our Lord: in His words and actions, during Mass and adoration, and in our relatives and neighbors. Our Lord is always with us, hidden but present, and we need to keep trying to see Him.
“I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” (LK 9: 22)
When difficult times come, sometimes we forget that it is not the end of everything. There is always “the third day” when everything will change. Our Lord protects us, and when we suffer or when we are in danger, we can remember that He always has a better future for us.
“The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Every word of God is tested; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (PRV 30: 5)
We receive God’s word to protect us and to lead us. When we meditate on the “word of God . . . He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”
“The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd.” (LK 8: 19)
How many changed after Our Lord’s resurrection—now He is always present for us, always available, always focused on us, always loving us. We are His family and His relatives, and when we listen to Him, we can join Him all the time.
“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.”(1 COR 15: 42-44)
With God’s grace and help we can change everything: “it is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible.” We can be dishonorable and weak, and Our Lord can change us into glorious and powerful. Our marriages could be broken and in ashes, but God can change them into miracles.
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace: one Body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call;” (EPH 4: 1-4)
This is a strategy for all kinds of difficult situations: “with humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love.” We are not perfect; we are sinners, weak and fragile; when we respect another with “humility and gentleness,” “the unity of the Spirit” can help us love stronger.
“We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the glorious company of Apostles praise you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me.” (1 COR 15: 10)
This is Our Lord’s love, which created us and made us who we are. We can cooperate with God’s grace, like St. Paul, who has “toiled harder than all of them, but [it is by] the grace of God that is with me.” St. Therese the Great used to say: Therese alone can do nothing, but Therese with Jesus can do everything. The closer we come to Jesus, the closer we are to our true identity.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.” (1 COR 13: 12)
Because of this, we used to say in our Program: “it is good, because….” when some unexpected things occur. Seeing that we “know partially” and “we see indistinctly,” we prefer to trust God, Who knows and Who has plans for us, rather than trust our limited ability to see properly.
“Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life, you have the words of everlasting life.” (Gospel Acclamation)