The older I get the quicker the years appear to go, here we are in September already and a new school year beckons. The psalm used today emphasises how short our lives are in comparison to the existence of God; and urges us to use this knowledge to seek wisdom of heart. We pray that those starting a new year at school or college seek to find wisdom of heart, may they flourish in all that they do.

The first reading asks what man can know the intentions of God and states that our reasonings are unsure. It questions whether it is even possible for us to discover what is in the heavens as we are weighed down by the limitations of our body. Since this text was written mankind has developed tremendous knowledge of the earth and a fraction of knowledge of what lies beyond the earth with so much still to discover.

However, this has not helped us to take care of the earth as without doubt our climate is now in crisis. The current victims of the global warming crisis are the people of Pakistan with over a thousand people known to have died and millions of people displaced because of the floods which have been with them since June. If you can help, please donate to Cafod who are part of the Government Disaster Emergency Committee [DEC] appeal.1

In his letter to the people of Philemon, St Paul tells us that kindness cannot be forced, that love requires consent. He also uses the example of Onesimus to remind us that when we are open and consent to loving Christ, then we are freed from our past; whatever that was; and become brothers and sisters in Christ. He emphasises this by requesting that they should welcome Onesimus; a former slave; as they would welcome St Paul.

This week’s Gospel challenges us to be fully committed to Christ. Much the same as a couple of weeks ago; when we spoke about entering by the narrow door; Jesus urges us to carry our cross and follow Him. We all have challenges through life, Jesus is saying bring those challenges to Him, stay close to Him when things get tough and when things are not tough, we should prepare for when they may be.

Jesus says we need give up all of our possessions; this is a time to ask ourselves –

What do I hold on to that stops me from getting closer to Jesus?

Am I prepared to give this up?

If not, why not?

The message from the Gospel today is that Jesus wants us to consent to loving Him, to following Him, Jesus wants us all, body and soul, not just the parts we are prepared to give Him. Just as those in the Old Testament point towards Jesus, those who followed, the Apostles, the Fathers of the Church and all the saints ever since also point towards Jesus; they guide us to the text in Scriptures, they developed and enhanced our Liturgy; which is primarily based on Scripture, they encouraged those they served and they still serve us today, praying for us from heaven so that one day, God willing, we can join with them in praising God. Our role is to be fully committed to Jesus and to bring others to Him.

Further Reading

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

CCC 273, 300, 314: God’s transcendence
CCC 36-43: knowledge of God according to the Church
CCC 2544: prefer Christ to all else
CCC 914-919, 931-932: following Christ in consecrated life

Please keep in your prayers this week

  • The Ukrainian and Russian people, may they be able to live in peace.
  • Those who are sick, those recovering from surgery, those who are dying, the recently deceased and those who mourn.
  • All those travelling, that they will arrive safely at their destination.
  • All school children, teachers and other staff members of our schools, as they prepare to return to school following the holidays.
  • All those struggling to feed their families at this time.
  • All the priests who will be moving to new roles this September.
  • All prisoners and their families.
  • Those working to help the people struggling with the cost of living crisis.
  • Safe travels for those going on pilgrimage to Medjugorje this weekend.

1 Catholic international development charity | CAFOD