October 1, 2023
Most weeks these reflections focus on the gospel story but this week I am drawn more intensely to the second reading, Paul’s letter to the community in Philippi…”Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus.” Paul implores the community to be of the same mind and united in heart, regarding others as being more important than themselves.
These last several weeks the gospel stories have focused on God’s abundant love and mercy. This week, Paul reminds us that we are called to love in just the same way. I am often reminded of a line from John’s gospel that I call Jesus’ mission statement – “I have come that you may have life and have it in abundance.” Consider using the daily newspaper or the television newscast as a source for your prayer this week. Read each account being conscious of the person or persons in the story as being God’s beloved daughter or son. Does this evoke something different in your heart? Does it invite you to think differently about how you react or respond to a situation?
The next phase of the Synod begins this week. Pope Francis, like Pope John XXIII, is inviting us to call upon and respond to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit as we consider ways to be more faithful to the Reign of God. Let us pray for all those who will participate in the discernment, that they will hear St. Paul’s words for this day and age…”Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people:
“What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
He said in reply, ‘I will not, ‘
but afterwards changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him.”