Daily Archives: September 8, 2019

8 September, Sunday – Confusion vs Wisdom

8 Sep 2019

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Wisdom 9:13-18

What man indeed can know the intentions of God?
Who can divine the will of the Lord?
The reasonings of mortals are unsure
and our intentions unstable;
for a perishable body presses down the soul,
and this tent of clay weighs down the teeming mind.
It is hard enough for us to work out what is on earth,
laborious to know what lies within our reach;
who, then, can discover what is in the heavens?
As for your intention, who could have learnt it, had you not granted Wisdom
and sent your holy spirit from above?
Thus have the paths of those on earth been straightened
and men been taught what pleases you,
and saved, by Wisdom.

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Philemon 9-10,12-17

This is Paul writing, an old man now and, what is more, still a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you for a child of mine, whose father I became while wearing these chains: I mean Onesimus. I am sending him back to you, and with him – I could say – a part of my own self. I should have liked to keep him with me; he could have been a substitute for you, to help me while I am in the chains that the Good News has brought me. However, I did not want to do anything without your consent; it would have been forcing your act of kindness, which should be spontaneous. I know you have been deprived of Onesimus for a time, but it was only so that you could have him back for ever, not as a slave any more, but something much better than a slave, a dear brother; especially dear to me, but how much more to you, as a blood-brother as well as a brother in the Lord. So if all that we have in common means anything to you, welcome him as you would me.

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Luke 14:25-33

Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and he turned and spoke to them. ‘If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, “Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish.” Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand? If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace. So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.’

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Who can divine the will of God

Have you ever had the feeling that nothing ever makes sense? If our God is a loving god, why do we have to go through some of the challenges, headaches and heartaches that we do? Why is there so much suffering in this world amidst so much beauty?

The first reading today helps to shed some light onto these ever perplexing questions. First of all, we must understand that God’s wisdom and will are not easily knowable by humans. Our minds cannot conceive the intricacies and complexities of God’s grand schemes. How does one start to understand a God that is deeper than the vast oceans, taller than the highest mountains and more infinite than the universe? Because of our fallen human nature and perishable bodies, we cannot comprehend the wisdom of God and His ways unless they are revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. In order for us to hear the Holy Spirit, we must be in tune, in communion with our God by striving to be holy (going to confessions, prayerful, trusting in God and wanting to do His will).

It is a societal belief that in order to be in control and/or self sufficient, we need to acquire knowledge.  However, God is divine and we cannot know Him completely in our time on earth. We cannot even acquire and master half the knowledge within this world. Why would we think that we can understand our God without His divine help? Why wouldn’t we trust in His plans instead?

We teach our children and tell ourselves that we have to be independent and self reliant —  “Heaven helps those who help themselves.” We take pride in all our achievements and successes. Of course, we should celebrate those accomplishments, but we must never forget that the credit does not belong to us alone.  Everything we have, every good that we do, every accomplishment we achieve are all graces from God. As Bishop Barron said, (paraphrasing here) our accomplishment came from collaborating with God.  Therefore, we can’t take credit for everything. In fact, we would be wise to rely on the Grace of God and trust in His plans. That doesn’t mean we don’t have to do our part; it just means that we rely on His guidance and wisdom and trust that He knows what is best for us. Sometimes, it may be a short stroll and sometimes it may be a long walk; whatever the case, you can rely on our Lord to be walking beside us all the way.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)

Prayer:  Dear Lord, help us to realize all that we are, all that we have are Graces given to us. 

Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, we thank you for guiding us and for always being by our side.