19 Oct
28th Week in Ordinary Time
Rom. 4:1-8
Ps. 32:1-2, 5, 11
Lk. 12:1-7
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We sometimes struggle with the need to please others; to meet the expectations of family members, relatives, friends, colleagues and even church members. We choose to be not 'who we truly are' but 'who we think others would want us to be.' Hypocrisy can be such a painful and lonely thing it is slavery to a false identity that we think will guarantee popularity and acceptance. And yet we remain so fearful that if our true identity is ever discovered, rejection will follow.

It is important to realize the fragility of life that depends on external opinion. Ultimately, in spite of all our pretenses and 'masks', God sees us for who we truly are 'what is hidden will be uncovered, everything now hidden will be made clear.' This exposes the futility of pretending to be 'who' we are not. Before the God of Truth who is Truth, all things are laid bare. We also come to realize that our worthiness does not depend on our own efforts, schemes or the opinion of others but lies with God who immeasurably values us. For He is the God who has counted every hair on our head and does not forget the least of His creatures, even the sparrows.

Lord, Your light dispels the darkness of our masks and pretenses, help us to be true to our identity as Your sons and daughters.

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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