27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
4th October 2020
Year A – Psalter week 3
Pray with Thanksgiving
A common theme of the first reading and gospel is that we are called to put our faith into action and to produce the fruit of the kingdom of God in our daily lives, fruit such as justice and integrity. I would, however, like to focus upon the second reading from the Epistle to the Philippians, and upon the importance of thanksgiving.
I have spoken before about our gaze, and of keeping our focus upon the Risen Jesus. As we see a further outbreak of the coronavirus, we are encouraged to take St. Paul’s words to heart: “There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God, which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus.”
It is interesting that St. Paul says that we should pray with thanksgiving. That may seem particularly difficult at the present time, but there are always things to be thankful for, and these we need to call to mind on a regular basis. I was recently made aware of the following saying on social media which I thought helpful in this regard: “Please remember: Your job is the dream of the unemployed; Your house is the dream of the homeless; Your smile is the dream of the depressed; Your health is the dream of those who are sick. Don’t let difficult times make you forget your blessings.” In essence, this is once again about keeping our gaze upon the things of God, and upon His blessings in our lives.
I’ve just returned from a time away in Devon with two priest friends. It helped that the weather was good and that we could spend quality time together and enjoy one another’s company in a beautiful and relaxing location. One of the things we decided to do was to refrain from watching the news much while we were away. This, we felt, made a difference to our frame of mind, because our attention became refocused upon life’s blessings, rather than the problems often focused upon in the media. Of course, we were able to refocus more easily because it was a holiday time, but nevertheless, it did get me thinking about the amount of time we may normally spend on a daily basis hearing things that keep our attention upon life’s problems and difficulties rather than upon God’s blessings. The words that St. Paul continues with seem particularly pertinent in this regard: “Finally, brothers, fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure, everything that we love and honour, and everything that can be thought virtuous or worthy of praise.”
While it is important, then, to have an awareness of what is happening in our world, it is even more important to make sure that we are spending plenty of time pondering God’s loving presence in our lives, and thanking God for the multitude of blessings that are continually poured out upon us each day, many of which we often tend to overlook or take for granted. By seeking to live our lives of faith in continual thanksgiving, we place ourselves in a much better position to then put our faith into action more effectively in our daily lives.
If there is anything you need, pray for it
This is the landlord’s heir: come, let us kill him
Sunday Message and Look
Download this weeks Sunday Message and Look (for our younger parishioners) by clicking on the images, for all the readings for this week, as well as the prayers during mass and the usual weekly thoughts and reflections.
I call you friends, says the Lord, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. Alleluia!