November 29, 2008
Saturday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 21: 34-36
Jesus said to his disciples: "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for sharing your mother Mary with the world. She draws me closer to your heart. Grant me the grace to imitate her virtues.
Petition: Lord, make my heart only for you.
1. Moments of Silence
The anxieties of daily life can distract us from knowing, loving and serving God. We are busy running here and there, taking care of everything we think needs to get done. Yet our most important task is prayer. Meditating on a passage of Scripture each morning helps set the tone for the rest of our day. Stopping by a chapel to kneel down in silence helps us remember that the little things that cause us anxiety are truly not important. Indeed, the moments spent in prayer help us to focus our attention and keep things in proper perspective.
2. Great Love
God’s love for each one of us is so immense. It is impossible for our human minds to grasp the magnitude of God’s love. A parish priest I know often speaks of the “superabundant, gratuitous love of Jesus Christ.” As he speaks these words so passionately, he exudes the depth of Christ’s love. Acknowledging Christ’s deep and abiding love for us should inspire us to be vigilant in prayer and virtue. Christ admonishes us to not let our hearts grow coarse and hardened by the trials and tribulations we experience in our lives. He alerts us to the dangers in the world that draw us away from his love. He wants us to aspire to be virtuous so that someday we will stand in humbly before the Son of Man.
3. Gentle Love
Jesus wants us to be watchful and alert. He does not want us to be exposed or vulnerable to harm or injury. Jesus needs us to be clear-headed and responsive in all circumstances. Yet, he is aware that we will fail sometimes. In the Garden of Gethsemane, blood and sweat streamed down Christ’s face and body as he took upon himself the crushing weight of our sins. He asked Peter to stay awake and pray, but Peter fell asleep again and again. Later, Peter rejected even knowing Jesus. We are like Peter: We are sinners who can become lax and inattentive to Christ’s will. We can make bad choices and let Christ down. Yet Jesus draws our attention back to him and gently encourages us to renew our love for him so he can tell us what he expects of us, just as he did with Peter. “He said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep’” (John 21:17).
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, your immeasurable love motivates me. Help me be alert to the dangers of the world so I can live in virtue and purity. When I fall, remind me of your love and give me the grace to persevere in building your Kingdom.
Resolution: I will make a special visit to Mary, my blessed Mother, and pray the Memorare for someone who is in need of prayers.
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