One Minute Reflection – 27 October – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 18:9–14
‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ … Luke 18:13
REFLECTION – “The Gospel of the two men praying in the temple, the Pharisee and the tax collector, reveals to what kind of prayer penetrates to God.
We notice a difference even in their respective postures. The one stands “with unbowed head” as if the temple belongs to him, while the other “keeps his distance,” as if he has crossed the threshold of a house in which he really does not belong.
The first one prays “to himself,” really, not even praying to God but reviewing for himself the list of his virtues assuming that, when God Himself notices them, He will respect them and marvel at them. Moreover, this man catalogues his virtues as a means of setting himself off from “other men,” none of whom have attained his level of perfection. He is travelling the road of “self-discovery,” which is precisely the path of “loss of God.” The other man can only discover sin in himself, can only find himself devoid of God, which, as he pleads, “be merciful to me,” turns into an empty place for God to occupy. No-one, whose ultimate goal is his own perfection, will ever find God.
Anyone who has the humility to permit God’s perfection to take effect in his emptiness – not by being passive but by working with the talent He gives him – will be considered a “justified” person in the sight of God.” … Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)
PRAYER – Lord God, deepen our faith, strengthen our hope, enkindle our love and so that we may obtain what You promise, make us love what You command. Mary, holy Mother, teach us complete humility and trust, help us to be a total fiat as you are. We make our prayer, through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 24 October – Wednesday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time Year C, Gospel: Luke 12:39-48 and The Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer
“Everyone to whom much is given, of him will much be required”…Luke 12:48
REFLECTION – “In various ways the Gospel modifies the challenge to Christians to live in a constant state of departing.
The more richly God has endowed Christians with gifts and thereby with assignments, the more God varies the requirement to live “underway.”
God’s assignments are carried out best if His servant, never loses sight of the fact, that he might be called to account at any moment – in other words – if every temporal moment is lived and shaped directly in and toward the light of eternity. If he forgets this immediacy, he has forgotten the content of his earthly mission and the justice and righteousness it incorporates (“he begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants”). It now becomes clear, that this justice-righteousness, can only be retained if the believer looks beyond the world to the requirements of eternal justice-righteousness, which is not merely an “idea” but is the living Lord, for whose appearance, all of the world history waits!” … Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to keep my death constantly before my eyes, for this is my final account. pray You for a holy life that my death may be holy and that I may come to You and live for all eternity with You. hen my hour is come, bid me come to You, Lord. ear the prayers of the Blessed Virgin, our Mother and your saints, who lived each moment of their lives for the glory of Your Kingdom. e ask this through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!
One Minute Reflection – 20 October – Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 18:1–8 and World Mission Sunday
And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.” … Luke 18:6
REFLECTION – “As He often does, in today’s Gospel, Jesus takes the immoral realities of our world as His point of departure. Here, it is the corrupt judge, elsewhere, it was the servant who defrauds his master, the prodigal son, the foolish rich man, the glutton, the wicked vineyard owner.
Beginning with what is familiar, Jesus wants to move up to the laws of the Kingdom of God. Here, as in the parable of the friend knocking at the door at midnight, the point of comparison is the persistence of an importunate but not unjust request.
If even the wicked … then all the more God, who is good. Jesus wants to make utterly clear to us – God wants men to ask Him, even to pester Him. If God gives man freedom and goes so far as to enter into covenant with him, then He is not merely concerned about human freedom but has bound Himself in a covenant with His partner without giving up His divine freedom – God will always give the petitioner what is best for him, “the good” (Mt 7:11), “the Holy Spirit” (Lk 11:12). Whoever prays, in the Spirit of Christ, will be listened to without exception (Jn 14:12-14) And the Gospel adds, “without delay.” God does not hear our prayers at some later date. He hears and immediately responds with whatever best corresponds to the request. A request, however, presupposes faith, which is why the Gospel ends with something for us to mull over – will the Lord “find faith upon the earth” when He returns? It is we, who are listening here and not just anyone, who are being asked this!” … Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)
PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God and Father, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love. May we learn to truly pray and by our prayers to entreat You to bless us in Your goodness and lead us to true faith in Your unfailing love and mercy. Grant that by the prayers of your Saints we may be strengthened and depend only on You. Holy Mother, be our protection and our guide . We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 6 October – Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 17:5–10 and the Memorial of St Mary Frances of the Five Wounds (1715-1791)
‘Prepare supper for me’ ...Luke 17:8
REFLECTION – “To believe is not simply to sit back and wait until the Lord comes and serves us with His grace. Faith receives it’s incomprehensible efficacy (tossing a tree into the ocean), in the course of serving the Lord, who, after all, has become the servant of us all and cannot stand to see anyone lazily let himself be served by Him (sola fides). Instead, He takes it as self-evident, that His followers serve alongside Him, which really means they serve Him, for “where I am, there will my servant also be” (Jn 12:26).
Moreover, this serving does not take place in haughty pride over how useful to the Lord my co-service may be (as if He could not do anything without me). Just the opposite, in modesty, the servant knows the words of Jesus – “Without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).
Since He has already done everything for us, the correct estimation of ourselves, is the one commanded by the Lord Himself and expressed in the Confession – “We are useless servants, we have only done our duty.” … Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, whose love surpasses all that we ask or deserve, guide us to perfect obedience to conform ourselves to Your holy will, that in the manner of St Mary Frances, our only wish may be to serve and find You. May we always serve in modesty and humility and know that only in Your Son, are we complete. May the prayers of St Mary Frances of the Five Wounds be a source of strength on our journey home. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 27 September – Friday of the Twenty Fifth week in Ordinary Tim, Year C, Gospel: Luke 9:18–22 and the Memorial of St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
“The Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and on the third day be raised.”... Luke 9:22
REFLECTION – “The scene found n the Gospel reading forms a climax of the Synoptic Gospels. It constitutes the watershed in Jesus’ life. To this point, in accord with the mission given Him by the Father, He has acted messianically and has aroused a sense of who He is, especially in His disciples. Because the shift that takes place in this scene is so important, Luke places it in the context of a prayer of Jesus in solitude. By asking His disciples about His identity, He takes the opportunity to reveal the core of His mission.
Yet, the people’s perception of who He is, is so imperfect, that He cannot use it as a point of departure. Peter’s statement, “you are the Messiah of God” hits the target, yet Peter’s image of the Messiah remains an Old Testament and contemporary one – the Messiah as Israel’s liberator. That is why Jesus forbids them to use the title and, more profoundly, that is why He lays out clearly, what is the true task of the Messiah – to be rejected, to die, to rise again. So that this will not be received as some sort of incomprehensible, mythological event, He immediately explains it’s implications for anyone who wishes to be His disciple – “Take up your cross daily” and “follow” the Messiah in this way.
The required faith embraces the act it includes – discipleship – but not by scheming to gain something – rather, by unconditional loss: “Whoever loses his life for my sake … ” … Cardinal Han Urs von Bathasar (1905-1988)
PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the Light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us and the Credo we profess, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled in us. May the intercession of St Vincent de Paul, grant us the grace of following the way of the Cross, to stand beneath it with our Mother, the Mother of God, Ave Maria! We make our prayer through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 23 June – The Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ 2019, Gospel: Luke 9:11–17
“…he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke them and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.”…Luke 9:16
REFLECTION – “The mystery of today’s feast has three aspects, as is the case with all the great feasts after Pentecost and Trinity Sunday.
First, the Gospel portrays it through the image of the multiplication of the loaves. This is no bit of magic on Jesus’ part – to accomplish it He looks toward heaven, toward His Father, with both petition and thanksgiving (eucharistia): “Father, I thank you for hearing me.” (Jn 11:42) His lavish giving away of Himself in the loaves, will be a sign of the way the Father’s love utterly lavishes His Son on the world.
Then He blesses the bread, for the Father has left everything to the Son, including the bestowal of heaven’s blessing.
He breaks it, which points both to His own brokenness in the Passion and to the way His gifts will be limitlessly multiplied by the work of the Holy Spirit in every Eucharistic celebration. Thus, through this visible image, we realise that truine Love itself, becomes present in the Eucharistic self-giving of Jesus.”… Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)
PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ, You gave Your Church an admirable Sacrament as the abiding memorial of Your Passion. Teach us so to worship the sacred Mystery of Your Body and Blood, that it’s redeeming power, may sanctify us always. Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever and every, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 11 May – Saturday of the Third Week Easter, C, Gospel: John 6:60–69
“Do you want to leave me too?”...John 6:67
REFLECTION – “Jesus confronts His listeners, including His disciples, with an even more merciless decision, in the light of His promise of the Eucharist. Because He refuses to back away, in the slightest, from His statements about the Eucharist, these words seems so ‘intolerable’ to his listeners, that they are faced with the toughest test of all. Indeed, for His disciples, Jesus hones His assertions even more finely, when He predicts His ascent to the Father and claims that all His words are: ‘Spirit and life.”
This draws a line among His disciples, a line that Jesus knew existed from the outset – it was already clear who would follow Him in faith and who would betray Him.
There could be no neutrality.
The account refers to ‘many disciples’ who excused themselves. Judas is not the only one who does not believe. Jesus is not concerned about numbers, hence He even confronts the twelve with the same choice: “Do you want to leave me too?” As spokesman for the small group of faithful ones, Peter gives voice to the word of faith, to the belief that Jesus is “the Holy One of God.” Faith had brought him to a realisation and that realisation, made possible, the virtually blind faith needed for such a decision!”…Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)
PRAYER – Mould our minds and our hearts, we pray You Lord, by the union of Your Son and His Church. As we belong to You, You joined us to Your Son to become one with Him. May we always strive to live up to this union and may we make our lives, a constant sharing, in Christ’s death and Resurrection. May His Mother give us her heart, to love Him as she does. We make our prayer through Him and in Him and with Him, in the union of the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.