3 Oct
26th Week in Ordinary Time
Neh. 2:1-8
Ps. 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6
Lk. 9:57-62
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As Jesus travelled to Jerusalem, three men sought to accompany Him. However, they failed to understand that this journey was also a journey for life, to be undertaken not only by Jesus and His disciples and themselves, but, also by us all today.

In these verses, the point Luke makes is that such a journey, for the perfect service of God when He calls, is difficult and should be understaken with full knowledge, with a sense of urgency, and most importantly, with perseverance. The three men could not give a prompt and final commitment because they were too attached to family life and could not forego comfortable homes, moral obligations to look after the family, and their own emotional need of family.

Family life in itself is not condemned here. Rather, it is the inability to exchange what is comfortable physically and emotionally for an immediate commitment to God as and when He demands it.

This kind of responsible and responsive service of God is what one sees in Nehemiah's actions. Nehemiah was prepared to give up an exalted position as a trusted servant of the King of Persia when he knew God needed him, not just to provide a wall and bricks and mortar for the city of Jerusalem, but also for his role as leader, encouraging and re-building His people as a nation of God's. For this, he was prepared to risk the ire of his king and make the sacrifice of his life.

Lord, help us to journey through life with You.

Eternal Father, I offer You everything I do this day; my thoughts, words, joys and sufferings. Grant that, vivified by the Holy Spirit and united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, my life this day may be of service to You and to others. I also pray that all those preparing for marriage discover in Sacrament the source of Christ's grace for living a fithful and fruitful love. Amen.

That we may recognise and revere the cultural and spiritual riches of the different ethnic groups and religious minorities present in every country.

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P R A Y I N G    W I T H    T H E    C H U R C H    

INTENTION : That we may recognise and revere the cultural and spiritual riches of the different ethnic groups and religious minorities present in every country.

This month we are invited to give thanks to God for the variety of gifts he has given to humankind. There is hardly a country in the world today which is not marked by the coming together of different cultural traditions. It ought to be recognised that religion has influenced cultures and is the soul of a particular culture. Vatican II also mentions the good that is to be found in the rites and customs of peoples, recognising this as having been sown by God's Word (LG 17). In fact, Christians belong to many different cultures which have been deeply marked by the Christian faith.

In order to appreciate these cultural and religious riches we are called to make an effort to understand and appreciate all that is good in another person and in that person's culture. We are invited to look upon our fellow human beings with the eyes of God who created man in his own image and likeness and who saw all that he had made and found it very good. We are therefore encouraged to consider prayerfully how God is at work in all peoples.

In this context our prayer will be that the ongoing dialogue between the Gospel message and cultures may produce fruits of true freedom, joy and peace for the whole of humanity.

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