October 11, 2020
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Phil 4:12-14, 19-20
Mt 22:1-14 OR 22:1-10
GROW: I would guess we’ve all experienced lean times along with better times. Ramen noodles and boxed mac and cheese in college, fine dining with “rich food and choice wines” once we got real jobs, then back to pizza and beer when balancing school tuition, car payments, and kids’ growing feet. Paul has seen it all and much worse; after all, he is writing from a prison cell! Yet, rather than focus on his own troubles, he expresses gratitude for the support of the Philippians and assures them that God will provide. Paul is not writing about food, fine wine, or financial security, but the “glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” No matter our circumstances, we, too, can trust that God will give us what we need.
GO: Imagine Paul, stuck in a prison cell – hungry, thirsty, and probably in pain. And yet he seeks to bolster the Philippian Church, assuring them, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me,” and thanking them: “Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress.” What a powerful faith, and a witness to gratitude of God’s gifts – including the gift of people who love us. I’ve been fortunate to have met people who, facing a chronic disease, the loss of a loved one, or physical challenges, still seem to be looking out for everyone else. Nearly to a person, they say they draw on their faith – and I’ve had the rare opportunity to hear their stories as an editor for a Catholic magazine. They inspire me to keep talking to God every day, so when that next challenge comes – and it will – I, too, can turn to my faith for strength. And it doesn’t stop there. By our example, we can accompany those around us as they carry their burdens, assuring them that they don’t face their trials alone.
ACTION: St. Paul says:“I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” Keep a gratitude journal and write down the ways God has provided for you. Thank God, and then reach out and thank the people who have supported you when things got tough.