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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 23.10.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 23.10.2023

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ROMANS 4: 20 – 25

Brethren: No distrust made Abraham waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “reckoned to him as righteousness.” But the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  
Luke 1: 69 – 70, 71 – 72, 73 – 75 (R.) 68

R/. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited his people.

He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of his servant David,
As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets
from of old. R/.

That we should be saved from our enemies,
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to perform the mercy promised to our fathers,
and to remember his holy covenant. R/.

The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him
all the days of our life. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Matthew 5: 3

Alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
The things you have prepared, whose will they be?
LUKE 12: 13 – 21

At that time: One of the multitude said to Jesus, “Teacher, bid my Brother divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” And he said to them, “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: The Reality of Greed
October 23, 2023

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” (Luke 12:13–15)

What’s interesting in Jesus’ statement is that of all the people who ever walked the earth, no one is more worthy to be a “judge and arbitrator” of an injustice than Jesus Himself. Yet He refuses to intervene. Why is that? It appears to be a just request from the person, but instead of intervening Jesus tells a parable about greed.

Material possessions can be very seductive. That’s a fact. Yet many people have a very hard time admitting their attachment to possessions and money. They rationalize that they have worked hard, have earned what they have and should be able to indulge a bit. Some good-minded people who have many possessions appease their consciences by giving a small portion of what they have to charitable causes and then conclude that they can keep the rest for themselves. But what does Jesus think about that?

In and of themselves, material possessions are neither good nor bad. The problem is the sin of greed. Greed is an interior disposition by which a person becomes more attached to the passing things of this world than they are to God and His holy will. Though it might be possible to have many possessions and still remain interiorly detached from them, this is quite difficult. But having possessions is not the ultimate problem. Desiring possessions is the real problem. Therefore, even those with very little can fall into the same trap by becoming attached to what they do not have and by believing that the attainment of more will satisfy.

Jesus refused to act as “judge and arbitrator” in this case because it was clear to Him that the person making the request was struggling with greed. Jesus was far more concerned about this person’s interior attachments than He was about the inheritance being properly shared. Earthly justice means very little from the perspective of eternity. This may be hard for many to understand and accept. Doesn’t justice demand fairness? Not if the desire to be treated fairly is based on some sin such as greed. In that case, it is far better for the soul to be cheated out of their inheritance than it is to receive their fair share. In fact, if a person does struggle with greed, one of the best things for their soul might be to be cheated out of their own possessions. This will only be understood when we see that spiritual riches are infinitely greater than material riches.

Reflect, today, upon your interior desires. Look at them honestly. What do you desire the most in life? Do you dream of becoming rich? If so, does that desire consume much of your thinking? Reflect upon the scenario in which you were supposed to receive a very large inheritance but were cheated out of it. How would you react? The right reaction would be to care more for the soul of the person who cheated you than to care about actually being cheated. A person who is fully detached from material possessions will care little about losing such an inheritance or gaining one. It will truly matter not. If that is hard to accept, know that this is a sign that your soul is too attached to the things of this world. Pray for freedom from all greed. That is the only way to obtain the true riches of God.

PRAYER:
Most generous Lord, You bestow mercy in superabundance. Your grace and love are all I need in life. By obtaining You and Your mercy, I obtain the one and only source of fulfillment in life. Please free me from earthly greed, and help me to see the things of this world as You see them. Jesus, I trust in You.

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