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




Wednesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 487

1st Reading – PHIL 2:12-18

My beloved, obedient as you have always been,
not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent,
work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
For God is the one who, for his good purpose,
works in you both to desire and to work.
Do everything without grumbling or questioning,
that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
among whom you shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life,
so that my boast for the day of Christ may be
that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
But, even if I am poured out as a libation
upon the sacrificial service of your faith,
I rejoice and share my joy with all of you.
In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 27:1, 4, 13-14

R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Alleluia – 1 PT 4:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of God rests upon you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 14:25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Gospel Reflections

Choosing God Above All

Saint for Today

“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

No, this is not an error. Jesus really said this. It’s a strong statement and the word “hating” in this sentence is quite definitive. So what does this actually mean?

Like everything Jesus said, it must be read in the context of the entire Gospel. Remember, Jesus said that the greatest and first commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with your whole heart…” He also said to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This most certainly includes family. However, in the passage above, we hear Jesus telling us that if anything whatsoever gets in the way of our love of God, we must eliminate it from our life. We must “hate” it.

Hate, in this context, is not the sin of hate. It’s not an anger welling up within us that causes us to lose control and say mean things. Rather, hate in this context means we must be ready and willing to distance ourselves from that which gets in the way of our relationship with God. If it is money, prestige, power, the flesh, alcohol, etc., then we must eliminate it from our lives. Shockingly, some will even find that they must distance themselves from their own family in order to keep their relationship with God alive. But even in this case, we are still loving our family. Love simply takes on different forms at times.

The family was designed to be a place of peace, harmony and love. But the sad reality that many have experienced in life is that sometimes our family relationships directly interfere with our love of God and others. And if this is the case in our lives, we must hear Jesus telling us to approach those relationships in a different way out of love for God.

Perhaps this Scripture could be misunderstood and misused at times. It is not an excuse to treat those in the family, nor anyone else, with spite, harshness, malice or the like. It is not an excuse to let the passion of anger well up in us. But it is a call from God to act in justice and truth and to refuse to allow anything to separate us from the love of God.

Reflect, today, upon that which is the greatest obstacle to your relationship with God. Who or what tears you away from loving God with your whole heart. Hopefully there is nothing or no one who fits this category. But if there is, hear the words of Jesus today encouraging you to be strong and calling you to put Him first before anything else in life.

Lord, help me to constantly see those things in my life that keep me from loving You. As I identify that which deters me in faith, give me the courage to choose You above all things. Give me the wisdom to know how to choose You above all things. Jesus, I trust in You.

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