Saturday, October 14, 2017

“The ship that will not obey the helm will have to obey the rocks.”

But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. – St James: (died 44 AD: was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and traditionally considered the first apostle to be martyred.)

Gospel text: (LK 11:27-28)
While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
"Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed."
He replied, "Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it."

We hear many people say how proud the parents of a successful child are for the child who has grown according to the hopes and expectations of his/her parents and of society, of a child who does well.

In today's Gospel reading a woman called out to Jesus praising his mother for bearing and raising up one such as Jesus. In reply, Jesus calls blessed "those who hear the word of God and keep it well."

Parents, teachers in schools and coaches in various areas work to help people do well; and they are duly praised and acknowledged for their work. Parents, teachers and coaches or mentors help stimulate and develop the potentials of individuals; and, of course, the individuals have to do much work themselves for their development and success.

God himself encourages and assists individuals in developing their potentials and skills to become successful members of society. However, as we all know, no amount of coaching and support will work for a person's development if the person does not do his/her part.

There may be times we find it difficult to accept what we are and what we are called to be. We meet loss, pain, failure, suffering and misfortune. How do we act or re-act in such difficult and challenging times?

There may be times we find it very difficult to find and discern God's will for us and to do it. It is always tempting to do what is easier and more convenient but not necessarily the good or better choice for us.

We ask for God's help. We turn to our Mother Mary as the perfect example of doing God's will.

We pray, "0 God, strength of those who hope in you, hear our pleas and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing, grant us always the help of your grace, that, in following your commands, we may please you by our resolve and deeds."

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