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October 1, 2023 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Our Great Journey

This week our theme is “Walk the Walk” based on Matthew 21:28-32Mateo 21:28-32


Opening Prayer:

Prayer of St. Francis (His feast is October 4)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

In addition to our prayers from the heart, our prayer for October is the Act of Contrition. Please pray this prayer daily to learn. This should be one of our nighttime prayers.

Using the Bible, invite a family member to read the Gospel aloud.

Things to talk about:

  • Tell why you think which son was right?
  • What does walk the walk mean? Do actions speak louder than words?
  • Why are the actions of the second son worse than those of the first son?
  • What does this story teach you about the mercy of God?

Things to do:

  • This week may a sincere effort to follow through on what people ask you.
  • Focus on your actions this week to make sure they reflect the love in your heart.
  • Take your pet to the pet blessing on Saturday, October 7, 10:00 a.m. by the St. Francis Garden.
  • If you don’t have a pet, sit down with your family and create a list of blessings, writing down everything for which you are grateful. Add the list to your prayer table/space.

Trivia Question of the Week…. Who designed the first nativity set? (Hint: His feast day is October 4)

Closing Prayer

Lord, we thank you for your love and patience with us. Give us the gift of selflessness this week, we pray that our actions and the way we treat others reflects the love in our hearts. Help our actions to be the same as our words, if not louder. We will promise to do our very best to Walk the Walk. Amen.

Catholic Insights

This Gospel contrasts what it means not to just say yes but also to follow through on God’s word.

In this parable, Jesus is teaching the Pharisees about their inability to recognize the kingdom of God. He tells a parable and poses a question. They answer correctly, but it convicts them for their failure to heed the call of John the Baptist.

The situation Jesus poses is rather straightforward. Given the same task by their father, one son asserts his disobedience in words, but then obeys in his actions; the second son obeys with his words, but disobeys in his actions. The question that Jesus poses is pointed and direct: Which son did what the father wanted? All would agree that “actions speak louder than words” and that even if his words were disobedient, the son who did the work as ordered did the father’s will.

Jesus’ conclusion is also direct. The chief priests and elders, the ones who speak most often about God, did not act accordingly. They did not respond to the message of repentance announced by John the Baptist with a change of heart. Instead, John’s message was heeded by those you would not expect to repent—tax collectors, prostitutes, and other sinners. Because of their actions, these sinners will enter the Kingdom of God ahead of the religious leaders.

Jesus could ask us the same question. Do our words indicate our obedience to God? If not our words, do our actions? God desires a full conversion of heart, that our actions (and our words) will give evidence of our love for God. This week make an effort to follow through on things people ask of you. Let’s pray for each other to Walk the Walk.

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One response to “October 1, 2023 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time”

  1. In my walk with the Lord, I remember we are told by Jesus in John 14:18-28, “You do not do this alone…I have not left you alone…I will send the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, who will teach you and guide you and comfort you in all things…” So, when responding in a situation of being told to do something and obeying, I have learned over time and through many trials to invoke the Holy Spirit’s help and to ask. This has become a Walk of spiritual stretching of maturity on many levels. It has dealt with and continues to deal with my pride, arrogance, selfishness, bitterness and accusing of those around me.
    • I cannot do this walk alone. I cannot carry my cross by myself. If I can, then I am leaning upon my own willpower, my own flesh and fear of punishment to move me into the action of doing what I believe is God’s will. This perspective also supports my being able to judge the ‘obedience of others’ for if they are suffering consequences, it is obvious, they have not been fulfilling the spirit of the Law! St. Paul tells us in 2 Cor 3:6, that the spirit of the Law brings death, whereas the Spirit of God brings life. And this life is the Zoe life of God which enables us to do God’s will with freedom of desire to please Him; to want what He wants…Not out of Coercion or Fear of punishment.
    • In God’s love and in His goodness, He desires that I learn how to trust Him and His plan for me! What I have suffered often comes about from the wrong choices of others over me, or from just living in a fallen world and / or from just doing my own will outside of the will of God for my life. But God is ready to forgive me-to forgive all who come to Him with a pure and a contrite heart, who are wanting and seeking forgiveness and strength to do and be better. And with this forgiveness comes with the command to forgive others as I have been forgiven.
    • This does not mean in our own strength, but in becoming more like Him and only relying upon the power of the Holy Spirit, the renewing of our minds to the mind of Christ develops into obeying out of love for God and for one another; this work of Sanctification brings my will into a greater alignment with God’s will.
    • God does not want a begrudging attitude: “Okay, I don’t want to do your will but I will or you will punish me!” I remember having this sour immature attitude at one time and although God’s grace accepted that kind of obedience from me, He did not leave me there…He showed the condition of my heart and I repented of stubbornness and self-willfulness.
    • John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance; a turning around and acknowledging that ‘I need God-I am desperate!’ The Pharisees and Sadducees believed they knew God because of how they kept the Law! Jesus challenged them [Matt 9:13]: “But you go and learn what this means: ‘I desire Mercy over Sacrifice…’
    • Oh, they must have forgotten that part. Their knowledge of the Law had them pretty puffed up! But St. Paul later in Acts straightened that all out with [I consider all that I knew as a Law-abiding Pharisee is as [loss] dung that I may gain Christ!]
    • My walk, in addition to all our own individual walks and with those walks that we walk together as a faith-filled community become an ongoing Work of the Holy Spirit unto Sanctification. Each of us must discover through developing a personal relationship with Jesus, in prayer, with reflection, with the engaging and embracing of the sacramental life what that means for our own ‘Walking the Walk’ that God calls each of us to. His Grace is sufficient for all of us! His tender mercies are new every morning! His reward comes in hearing the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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