TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
First Reading: Wisdom 9: 13-18b
17 Who has learned your counsel, unless you have given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high? 18 And thus the paths of those on earth were set right, and people were taught what pleases you, and were saved by wisdom.”
Through Christ, we received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and He lives in our spirit. The still small voice that answers our queries as we pray is the Holy Spirit speaking to us. We must spend the first hour of our day seeking the Lord, He speaks to us. We must be attentive to our thoughts as we sit in silent contemplation of the Lord’s word. Before our question to him is even completed, he places his reply in our thoughts. He is eager to speak with us; we only need to make ourselves available to his promptings!
It is now that we must seek the Lord while He may be found. To gain True Wisdom we ought to turn to the Holy Bible and in humility ask the Holy Spirit to guide us. There is no other way; there is no better way than to learn as we sit like Mary at the feet of the Lord, listening to Him.
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, as on the day of testing in the wilderness. (Heb3:7-8)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 90: 3-6, 12-17
12 So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.
17 Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands—
O prosper the work of our hands!
A wise heart keeps track of the day and works accordingly. The work that man does needs God’s blessing for it to prosper.
Second Reading: Philemon 1: 9-10, 12-17
9 I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love—and I, Paul, do this as an old man, and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus. 10 I am appealing to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become during my imprisonment.
The humility of the great apostle Paul shines through in this letter to Philemon. The early church was built on the foundation of faith and love among the disciples. To work in true love requires a great deal of humility. We admire and thank the early church saints and apostles who worked so remarkably.
Gospel: Luke 14: 25-33
27 Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Christ Jesus is addressing the crowds that were following him. But in a seemingly deterrent speech, He seems to be a warning or discouraging people from following him!
26 Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.
Are there times when we might be upset with our family members for one reason or another? Do we feel the road ahead in this Christian faith is sometimes filled with obstacles? Well, that could very well indicate what Christ actually might have wanted to warn us about. When those insults or jibes come flying our way, we must remember to feel His hand on our shoulder as we carry the cross. He is alongside us in those very moments and is able to sense the same emotions we experience in those moments. (Heb4:15) We might not be aware, but he hears each insult and feels each wound!
Therefore, let us turn our spiritual gaze to see our Lord right next to us. Let us remind ourselves to whom we belong. And then the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:4-7)
In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!