Seek the grace to choose the will of God
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 17, 2021): IS 53:10-11; PS 33:4-5,18-19,20,22; HEB 4:14-16; MK 10:35-45
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
All too often, we give in to temptation. We allow feelings, urges, and preferences to lead us to selfishness and away from the loving Lord to whom we vowed ourselves through Baptism.
In the excerpt from the Letter to the Hebrews that we hear today, we are reminded that Jesus is the high priest who offered the ultimate sacrifice for His beloved people. Because He is human as well as divine we can identify with Him. Only in the matter of sin are we different. “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
During His entire earthly life, Jesus demonstrated His closeness to us. He grew up in a humble household with loving parents, but without any trappings of wealth or importance that would have made His existence easy or enviable. He was the son of a carpenter who taught Him the skills to earn His livelihood. He attended the local synagogue. He had friends and relatives, and enjoyed the company of others. He attended a wedding, and saved the day for the couple, when His mother asked Him to help. He wept at the death of a dear friend. Jesus was also tempted by Satan. And this is where He was different. All too often, we give in to temptation. We allow feelings, urges, and preferences to lead us to selfishness and away from the loving Lord to whom we vowed ourselves through Baptism. Yet, as noted in today’s Second Reading, we should not let this make us think that we cannot approach our Redeemer. He is waiting to strengthen us in avoiding sin. But we have to seek the grace to choose the will of God, rather than our own. And always, always, He is ready to forgive us if we fail. We have only to repent and ask for His mercy. This is so for all His disciples. The Son of God and Son of Mary is our Lord, brother, and King. He is truly our Life.
Suggested missionary action: In anticipation of World Mission Sunday next week, let us offer some special sacrifice. We could fast from a meal, or give up something we want, and then send an offering to the Pope’s missions along with our prayers.