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Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Saturday 9/19/2020

Reading 1

Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.

Responsorial Psalm

R. (18a) The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

Reading 2

Brothers and sisters:
Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.
If I go on living in the flesh,
that means fruitful labor for me.
And I do not know which I shall choose.
I am caught between the two.
I long to depart this life and be with Christ,
for that is far better.
Yet that I remain in the flesh
is more necessary for your benefit.

Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
the landowner found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Listening

“Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved.” Luke 8:12

This familiar story identifies four possible ways in which we hear the Word of God.  Some are like a trodden path, some like rocky ground, others like a bed of thorns and some are like rich soil.

In each one of these images, there is a possibility of growth with the Word of God.  The rich soil is when the Word is received and bears fruit.  The seed among thorns is when the Word grows but the fruit is choked off by daily troubles and temptations.  The seed sown in the rocky ground results in the Word growing, but ultimately dies off when life gets hard.  The first image of seed falling on the path, however, is the least desirable of all.  In this case, the seed does not even grow.  The earth is so hardened that it can’t sink in.  The path itself provides no nourishment whatsoever and, as the passage reveals above, the Devil steals the Word away before it can grow.

Sadly, this “path” is becoming more and more prevalent in our day and age.  In fact, many struggle with actually listening.  We may hear, but hearing is not the same as actually listening.  We often have much to do, places to go and things to occupy our attention.  As a result, it can be difficult for many people to actually receive the Word of God into their hearts where it can grow.

Reflect, today, on the many ways that the Devil can come and steal the Word of God away from you.  It may be as simple as keeping you so occupied that you are too distracted to soak it in.  Or it may be that you allow the constant noise of the world to contradict what you hear before it sinks in.  Whatever the case may be, it is essential that you seek to take, at very least, the first step of listening and understanding.  Once that first step is accomplished, you can then work to remove the “rocks” and “thorns” from the soil of your soul.

Lord, help me to hear Your Word, to listen to it, to understand it and to believe it.  Help my heart to ultimately become rich soil that You enter so as to bear an abundance of good fruit.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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Monday Mass 10/19/2020

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Sunday Mass 10/18/2020 at 9:30am

Thank you for joining the St. Monica's Live Stream Mass for Sunday 10/18/2020 Going Deeper - Gospel Reflections Readings for Sunday 10/18/2020 Reading 1 EPH 1:11-14 Brothers [...]

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