Sunday, 18 October – Loving Through Our Words

18 October

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Isaiah 53:10-11

The Lord has been pleased to crush his servant with suffering.
If he offers his life in atonement,
he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life
and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.

His soul’s anguish over,
he shall see the light and be content.
By his sufferings shall my servant justify many,
taking their faults on himself.

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Hebrews 4:14-16

Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.

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Mark 10:35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Jesus. ‘Master,’ they said to him ‘we want you to do us a favour.’ He said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’

When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John, so Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that among the pagans their so-called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

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…give his life as a ransom for many

Starting from this month, we are taking a bit of a slight turn in our spiritual recovery journey as a discipleship group at the Catholic Spirituality Centre (CSC) as our spiritual director, Fr Erbin, leads us to reflect on the pierced heart of Jesus. Some have questioned this as previously, we were guided to look deep into our hearts and to learn to be more spiritually aware of ourselves, within our wounded hearts.

But as we learnt to open up and share our wounded souls with each other, we needed to understand that Jesus’ heart is also a wounded one; yet, it is that same heart which gives life, and which pours out love freely. His sacred heart, though surrounded by a crown of thorns and lacerated in many places, bleeds for us and nourishes us in spite of its wounds. And at today’s CSC Family Day mass, Fr Erbin exhorted that as a family, as a community, we must always comes to accept each others woundedness and to embrace each other. Because only then can we, as a community, minister to others who seek conversion of heart and, in the same way, embrace them as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

As a family, we tend to try and ‘paper over’ our differences and our hurts. To show to others that everything is hunky-dory and that we are all one big happy unit. But if we truly love one another as brother, sister, father, mother, grandparent, then we must accept that fights and disagreements are part and parcel of family life. Because if we truly are one family, then the Lord wants us to reconcile and to learn to love one another in spite of our differences.

This is what I have been experiencing at work over the past few weeks, as I have to realise that none of my staff are one and the same and that each one needs to be managed differently. That each member of my team is a blessing and comes with his/her own talents that help to build and strengthen the division as a whole. Therefore, I need to learn to open my heart more to them and to accept them as they are, instead of trying to mould them into versions of me. In doing so, I am taking a risk that I may be perceived as a ‘weak’ leader and be taken advantage of. But I have entrusted the next few months at work to the Lord and I know that He will provide me with wisdom and guide us as the new members start to assimilate into the team.

Brothers and sisters, if you are struggling with difficult family members or co-workers at this time, know that Christ himself suffered even worse yet He never stopped loving us. For what other motivation would He have as he was dying on the cross to say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”?

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: We thank and praise you, O heavenly Father, for the gift of your loving Son, Jesus, who taught us to love all others in spite of how others treat us. We pray that you fill us with the same grace so that we can learn to love as Jesus did.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for our family members and bosses who continue to love us and give us guidance, in spite of our failings.

 

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