All the desolation of the poor, not only their material poverty but their spiritual wounds as well, need to be redeemed. We should share with them because only if we are united with them can we redeem them, bringing God to their lives and they, in turn, to God.
– taken from “Mother Teresa In Her Own Words” by Jose Luis Gonzalez-Balado
The reason why those who are in Christ Jesus are not condemned, is that the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. God has done what the Law, because of our unspiritual nature, was unable to do. God dealt with sin by sending his own Son in a body as physical as any sinful body, and in that body God condemned sin. He did this in order that the Law’s just demands might be satisfied in us, who behave not as our unspiritual nature but as the spirit dictates.
The unspiritual are interested only in what is unspiritual, but the spiritual are interested in spiritual things. It is death to limit oneself to what is unspiritual; life and peace can only come with concern for the spiritual. That is because to limit oneself to what is unspiritual is to be at enmity with God: such a limitation never could and never does submit to God’s law. People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him. Though your body may be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then your spirit is life itself because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.
Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’
He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”’
The spirit of God resides in the heart of every Christian person through the effects of Baptism. St Paul tells us in the first reading that it is this Spirit that gives us life and peace.
Our bodies are a gift from God; our lives belong to God. We are supposed to bring out the life and spirit of God in our lives to everybody. Every Christian’s fundamental duty is to share the love of God in him with those around him. Ignorance and negligence is no excuse for us to fail in this aspect. The consequence of our inability to manifest his love is spelled out in the Gospel’s parable: the barren tree is an analogy to the Christian who neglects his fundamental task.
Just as bearing fruit is the main reason for a vineyard owner to plant a tree, spreading the message of Christ is also the main responsibility of every Christian. If we do not perform what we are required to do then we must be prepared for the after-effects of our actions.
Today’s Gospel reminds us that we cannot take the love of God for granted but share this love with others.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nick Chia)
Mother Mary, we commit ourselves in your care. Guide our every action and enable us to follow your patient love for your Son.
Give thanks for: the gift of God’s love.
Sun, 28 Oct – Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14; Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Disclaimer: The reflections expressed in this e-mail are the writer’s own. They may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless we should all be able to learn something from it.