November 14, 2008
Friday of the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 17: 26-37
Jesus said to his disciples: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, a person who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise a person in the field must not return to what was left behind. Remember the wife of Lot. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it. I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left." They said to him in reply, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather."
Introductory Prayer: I believe, Heavenly Father, that you created me and that you give me life and breath at every moment. I rely on you today to show me how to imitate your Son. I want to walk in his footsteps and make use of all the talents you have given me.
Petition: Jesus, you always did what was pleasing to the Father. Help me to know you, love you and imitate you.
1. Put Your Confidence in God
In the Old Testament, God gave very specific instructions to Noah about how to build the ark. The Book of Genesis tells us: “[Noah] carried out all the commands God gave him.” What was the result? Noah and his entire household were saved from the flood. Obedience to God’s word will always save us. As Christians we believe that we come to know God by coming to know Jesus Christ. Whenever we listen to Jesus, obey his words, and follow his teachings, we can be as confident as Noah that we are listening to God himself. God saved Noah from the destructive flood, and he sent his Son to save us from sin.
2. I Need You
In the Gospels, Jesus invites us to pray and to be watchful. When we pray and are careful to seek God’s will in our daily lives, we are stronger in the face of temptation. One of the biggest temptations of our modern times is to rely on ourselves and believe that we don’t need God. This is especially true when all the necessities of life are so easily accessible. Unless we consciously make an effort to thank God for all the gifts he bestows on us, we can drift into an attitude of self-sufficiency. Jesus reminds us today that we can be caught unhappily by surprise when we push him out of our lives.
3. The Best Laid Plans
“The Holy Spirit, wherever he breaks into our lives, always hinders the plans man makes” (Josef Cardinal Ratzinger, World Congress of Ecclesial Movements, Rome, May, 1998). God always wants what is good for us, and he will often challenge us to change our ways of thinking. Sometimes our plans are too narrow-minded. We seek only our personal benefit without thinking about the needs of others or about what pleases God. As Christians when we “lose” our life, it is so that we can find our happiness in Christ.
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Jesus, for the moments of prayer that you have granted me. I know that you have chosen me before I chose you. With the help of your Spirit of love I will bear much fruit today.
Resolution: I will offer a few minutes of my day to do a favor for someone close to me.
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