Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 28.09.2021 Masvingo Mirror

ZECHARIAH 8: 20 – 23

Thus says the Lord of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the favour of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I am going.’ Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favour of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”

The Word of the Lord.

 
RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 87: 1 – 7 (R.) Zechariah 8:23

R. God is with us.

Founded by him on the holy mountain,
the Lord loves the gates of Sion,
more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Of you are told glorious things,
you, O city of God! R.

Rahab and Babylon I will count
among those who know me;
of Tyre, Philistia, Ethiopia, it is told,
‘There was this one born.
But of Sion it shall be said,
‘Each one was born in her.
He, the Most High, established It. R.

In his register of peoples the Lord writes,
Here was this one born.
The singers cry out in chorus,
In you, all find their home. R.
 

ALLELUIA
Mark 10: 45

Alleluia.
The Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Alleluia.
 

GOSPEL
LUKE 9: 51 – 56

When the days drew near for Jesus to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him; but the people would not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.

The Gospel of the Lord.
 
[12:01, 28/09/2021] Tk: REFLECTION: Courage to Conquer Fear
September 28, 2021

When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. (Luke 9:51–52)

Shortly after Jesus spoke to His disciples about His pending suffering, death and resurrection, we read that Jesus “resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.” There is much to reflect upon in that short statement.

First of all, Jerusalem was the place of the Temple where the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament took place as a prefiguration of the one and ultimate sacrifice to come. Jesus came into this world as the Lamb of God, the Sacrificial Victim Who would die for our sins. He knew His ultimate end in this world, and He knew it would require much suffering. This knowledge of His future suffering is the foundational context of this passage today.

As Jesus’ suffering and death drew close, He became more and more determined in His human will to fulfill the will of the Father by laying down His life. Of course, Jesus always fulfilled the will of the Father, but little by little the human manifestation of Jesus’s determination became more and more pronounced. The specific human virtue that slowly became manifest was courage. Spiritual courage is the supernatural ability to embrace the will of the Father when His will leads a person into a life of sacrifice. Within our fallen human nature, we tend to avoid sacrifice. We often work to avoid conflict and suffering and to embrace the easy way in life. Therefore, to come face-to-face with some future suffering brings forth a temptation to fear—and that fear requires courage to overcome it. As His suffering drew closer, the temptation to fear grew stronger and, as a result, His perfect virtue of courage became more manifest. Note that Jesus not only decided to go to Jerusalem to offer His life sacrificially, He “resolutely determined” to do so. There was no wavering, no doubting the Father’s will, no hesitancy, no fear. His perfect sacrificial love slowly became manifest for all to see.

Another reason Jesus became resolute in His determination to travel to Jerusalem was to witness His love to His disciples. They needed courage themselves. So, as they listened to Jesus speak about what was coming in Jerusalem and as they witnessed His unwavering determination, they were also encouraged and were strengthened to overcome the temptations to fear. Of course, they only perfected that virtue later in their lives when they also followed in the footsteps of our Lord, laying down their own lives as martyrs.

Reflect, today, upon that which causes fear and anxiety in your own life. If that suffering is of your own making, then seek to rectify it. But if that suffering is a cross that our Lord is calling you to embrace with love, then do so sacrificially and with much determination. Do not be cowed by the heaviness of the cross you are given in life. The crosses we are called to embrace are always able to be transformed into grace. Allow courage to grow within you and allow the witness of our Lord to encourage you as you seek to imitate His sacrificial love.

PRAYER:
My courageous Lord, You faced Your suffering with much courage, strength, surrender and hope. You saw the value of Your free embrace of Your suffering and chose it with all the power of your soul. Give me the grace I need, dear Lord, to also resolutely determine to journey toward the cross I am called to embrace in life, so that my free embrace of my cross will unite me more fully with You. Jesus, I trust in You.

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