24 Oct
29th Week in Ordinary Time
Rom. 6:12-18
Ps. 124:1-8
Lk. 12:39-48
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Paul talks a lot about sin and grace. As men and women we are all slaves to sin at some level and grace presents us with a choice of whether or not to act on our sinful tendencies. Grace is not an automatic 'quick fix' from God that removes the responsiblity for living our lives righteously. Rather, it is a gift that is freely offered by God that is ours to accept or to refuse. If we are to become slaves, or better servants, to righteousness and shun the addictive forces of the world it is necessary to cooperate with grace at an individual and at a corporate level.

In the Gospel passage Luke presents a parable that is in line with Paul's discussion of sin and grace. The parable is about living our lives from the point of view of not knowing when we are going to die. It is a wake up call, if you will, that helps to remind us that this life is but a preparation for the next. There is a wonderful exercise in the Spiritual Exercise of St Ignatius of Loyola which can be helpful here. It is simply stated in David Fleming's version of the Exercises, "If I were at the moment of death and so I would have the freedom and clarity of that time, what would be the decision I would make now?"

Lord, help me to recognize God's grace that is present to us at every moment.

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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