31st Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Thursday 4th November 2021

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St Charles Borromeo, bishop

31st Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Thursday 4th November 2021

Rom. 14:7-12; Ps. 26:1,4,13-14;
Lk. 15:1-10 (Ps. Wk. III)

The context of the Roman passage is the early Christians’ struggle with two issues – food and the observance of some religious days. On these two issues, the “weak’’ and the “strong’’ have their own opinion; each despising the other for the stand they take. Thus, St Paul had to remind them that, “… you should never pass judgement on a brother or treat him with contempt, as some of you have done. We shall all have to stand before the judgement seat of God …  It is to God … that each of us must give an account of himself’’ (Rm 14: 10, 12).

In the Gospel reading we observe that “the tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what He had to say’’ (Lk 15: 1). And what was the response of the Pharisees and the Scribes? They “complained’’ and said, “This man … welcomes sinners and eats with them’’             (Lk 15: 2).

Have we ever been like the Roman Christians or the Pharisees or the Scribes – judging others according to ‘our standards’ of Christian life and practice?  Instead of using so much unnecessary energy and time in criticizing and complaining about others, why not use our God-given life and time to please and serve God in the here-and-now?

For those under close and undue scrutiny with its stress (like Jesus was), remember what the Psalmist says, “The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom shall I shrink?’’ (Ps 26: 1). Yes, “Hope in Him, hold firm and take heart. Hope in the Lord!’’ (Ps 26: 14).

Lord, we count on Your Word.

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