8 Oct
27th Week in Ordinary Time
Jona. 1:1-2:1, 11
(R. Ps.) Jonah 2:3-5, 8
Lk. 10:25-37
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God does not dramatically change His mind. Rather, He employs dramatic ways to keep us within His plan of salvation. We can attempt, like the lawyer, to trick God. He knew very well what he had to do to gain eternal life. Or we can, like Jonah try to run away from God, to run away from His mission.

The story of Jonah is full of paradoxes: all other prophets speak in poetry, while Jonah, in prose; all others preach to the Israelites, Jonah to foreigners; others fail to convert Israel but Jonah against his will succeeds in converting the pagans. The Assyrians are more open to God's grace than the Israelite prophet! It is the foreigners who teach the prophet to pray even if he prefers to sleep. They want to preserve him but he wants their destruction (Jonah 3:4 and 3:10-4:1).

It is the outsiders who are converted the despised, the rejected, the heretics, the people whom we hate and look down upon or who have taken advantage of us. Jesus asks us today to listen to them, to listen to the Samaritans as they teach us to pray and follow God's will, as they care for their neighbour silently.

We who are so-correct and "anxious to justify" ourselves can in fact be so biased and self-righteous; so proud and pious that we miss the signals of wonder and goodness flashed to us through the "darkenss" around us.

Lord, give me the grace to overcome my prejudices and to recognize the signals of wonder and goodness.

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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