Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time – Year B




Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 488

1st Reading – PHIL 3:3-8A

Brothers and sisters:
We are the circumcision,
we who worship through the Spirit of God,
who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,
although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.

If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.
Circumcised on the eighth day,
of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage,
in observance of the law a Pharisee,
in zeal I persecuted the Church,
in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.

But whatever gains I had,
these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.
More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (3b) Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – MT 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 15:1-10

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Gospel Reflections

Welcoming Sinners

Saint for Today

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:1-2

How do you treat the sinners you encounter? Do you shun them, talk about them, ridicule them, pity them, or ignore them? Hopefully not! How should you treat the sinner? Jesus allowed them to draw near to Him and He was attentive to them. In fact, He was so merciful and kind to the sinner that He was harshly criticized by the Pharisees and scribes. How about you? Are you willing to associate with the sinner to the point that you open yourself up to criticism?

It’s quite easy to be harsh and critical toward those who “deserve it.” When we see someone clearly going astray, we can almost feel justified in pointing the finger and putting them down as if we were better than they or as if they were dirt. What an easy thing to do and what a mistake!

If we want to be like Jesus we must have a very different attitude toward them. We must act differently toward them than how we may feel like acting. Sin is ugly and dirty. It’s easy to be critical toward one who is caught in a cycle of sin. Yet if we do so, we are no different than the Pharisees and scribes of Jesus’ time. And we will most likely receive the same harsh treatment right back from Jesus for our lack of mercy.

It’s interesting that one of the only sins that Jesus consistently rebukes is that of judgmentalness and criticalness. It’s almost as if this sin shuts the door on God’s mercy in our lives.

Reflect, today, upon how you look at and treat those whose sins are somewhat manifest. Do you treat them with mercy? Or do you react with disdain and act with a judgmental heart? Recommit yourself to mercy and a complete lack of judgment. Judgment is Christ’s to give, not yours. You are called to mercy and compassion. If you can offer just that, you will be much more like our merciful Lord.

Lord, help me when I feel like being harsh and judgmental. Help me to turn an eye of compassion toward the sinner, seeing the goodness You put in their souls before seeing their sinful actions. Help me to leave judgment to You and embrace mercy instead. Jesus, I trust in You.

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