25 Oct
29th Week in Ordinary Time
Rom. 6:19-23
Ps. 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
Lk. 12:49-53
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Paul urges us to sanctify our bodies by making them servants of justice. Speaking of his own life, his vocation and his apostolic ministry, Paul frequently calls himself a "servant", especially a "servant of Jesus Christ". We have noted in these pages before that Paul almost certainly derived this name of servant from reflection on the "Servant Songs" in the Prophecy of Isaiah as applied to Jesus both by Jesus Himself and by the early Church. Since Jesus was a suffering servant, Paul must in his own way become a suffering servant. So indeed must every follower of Jesus.

Scripture refers to Jesus as "just" (Mt. 27:19; 1 Pt. 3:18; 1 Jn. 1:9), and the general picture of Jesus, even as a human person, is one of a man characterized by innocence and justice, sinlessness and holiness. We who follow Jesus must strive to be like Him. We must strive to be servant of justice.

The notions of "suffering servant" and "servant of justice" come together. Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek; we must be prepared to suffer, to be victims even of injustice, rather than be the cause of any injustice whatsoever.

Father in heaven, send Your Holy Spirit to guide us in the ways of truth and justice. Let us never follow the counsel of the wicked nor walk in the ways of sinners.

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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