Friday, September 22, 2017
Gus talks about healing masses, which is specialty mass typically offered by charismatic Catholics, that is catered specifically to those who are suffering some kind of deep emotional, spiritual and/or, sometimes, physical wounds. Gus invites listeners to call in who’ve had experiences in the healing mass.
Also, Gus talks with listeners about common objections they hear about the Catholic faith and it wouldn’t be a Seize the Day Friday without a little Prayer Time.
A Response to Faith
King Cyrus of Persia was a magnanimous guy. He did something very special for the children of Israel, even though he was not one and had no duty to do so. What did he do? Read about it in today’s first reading from Ezra 1.
The last line of today’s Gospel reading from Luke 8 can seem confusing. Jesus says, “To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” What is Jesus taking about? Many preachers say this is about faith, but that makes no sense. After all, Jesus talked about having faith like a mustard seed. Why would He take away from someone who has even a little faith?
This is about responding to the gift of faith. It is a warning against being lukewarm, or minimizing faith. Just add the phrase “a response to faith” and it all makes sense. Like this: To anyone who has a response to faith, more will be given, and from the one who has not a response to faith, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” We must accept the gift of faith offered to us, and respond accordingly.
Father, we thank you for the gift of faith. May we always respond enthusiastically and let our light shine to all! Amen.
Now is the time to consider getting copies of A Minute in the Church as a parish Christmas gift. For only $1 a copy (in bulk), you can’t go wrong. Order today at www.GusLloyd.com.
Never Too Late
God is always calling us to himself. How will we respond? This is a theme in today’s readings. IN the first reading from Isaiah 55, we read, “Seek the LORD while he may be found.”
In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 20, Jesus tells a parable about a landowner who goes into town to hire workers for his vineyard. He hires some at the beginning of the day, others late in the morning, others in the afternoon, and some very late in the day. At the end of the day, he pays them all the same wage. Naturally, the ones who worked the whole day were upset. They protested. But the landowner replies, “Are you envious because I am generous?” And Jesus finishes with, “Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
This story teaches us that it is never too late to come into the Kingdom of heaven. If you have been spending your whole life “on the outside looking in,” don’t waste another moment! The invitation is there. And your reward will still be great! Just remember…you never know when the gates might close. The time is now to seize the day!!
Father, we thank you for always inviting us into the Kingdom. Forgive us for our procrastination. Give us the grace to jump in with both feet, and to invite others in with us! Amen.
Sow and Pray
In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 13, Jesus tells the parable of the sower of the seeds.
After telling his parable, the disciples didn’t understand. Jesus seems a bit perturbed. But He explains the parable to them. He starts out, “The sower sows the word.” Then He goes on to explain about the different places where the word fell. If you’re not familiar, you can read Jesus’ explanation for yourself. I have always felt that, at some point in our lives, we may each have experienced the different conditions that Jesus describes. It is my greatest hope that today you and I fall into the category of the rich soil, where the seed takes root and bears fruit a hundredfold.
What also strikes me is our dual role in this parable. As Christians, as evangelists, I hope that we are not just receivers of the seed (word), but sowers also. As we receive the word and it bears fruit in us, we must then take on the role of sower. We are tasked with sowing the seed to other lives and places. The one thing we must be cautious of is not taking it personally when the seed does not take root and bear fruit. Yes, we must sow the seed of the word. But it is ultimately God who waters and makes it grow. Our job is simply to sow and pray, sow and pray.
Father, we thank you that your Word has taken root in us. Help us to bear fruit for the Kingdom. Give us the grace to sow the seed of your Word, and rejoice as it bears fruit in others. Amen.
St. Paul gives some very sound advice to Timothy in today’s first reading from 1 Timothy 6. More on that in a moment. Our Gospel reading today is short, but important. Luke tells us that Jesus was accompanied by the Twelve, and a number of women. Why would he mention this? Because Luke wanted all to know that Jesus was a champion for the underdog. Women were generally second class citizens. But not in the eyes of the Lord. Luke’s gospel is filled with references to women and the poor and many others who were downtrodden. Because Jesus’ heart was filled with love for them.
Have you ever heard the old expression, “Money is the root of all evil?” If you have, then you’ve heard a misquote of the Scripture. In the first reading today, we see the real phrase. St. Paul says, “For the LOVE of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.” You see, money is an inanimate object. It is just a bunch of bills or a number in a bank account. Money, in and of itself, is not evil at all.
Money is quite simply a tool. Sure, we all need it. But St. Paul is not talking about need here. He is talking about WANT. About desire. About what lengths we may go to to get or keep money. Jesus spoke often about our relationship with money and things. We have to have the right attitude towards money. And love is not the right attitude. I love my wife and kids, and I would do anything for them. But what about money? Would I do anything for money? Even to the point of putting my soul in peril?
Father, help us to have a healthy attitude toward money. Teach us to see it, not as an object of desire, but as a tool to help build Your Kingdom. Amen.