.=: T H I S W E E K E N D :=. from Father Pat Umberger __________________________________________________ .=: V O L U M E 2 0 0 9 , Number 10-04 :=. .=: T H I S W E E K E N D ' S S C R I P T U R E S :=. The Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. Weekend of 03 and 04 October 2009 .=: R E F L E C T I O N Q U E S T I O N S :-. The LORD God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him." How can we be most grateful for this gift from God? How can we show greater love and reverence for this gift and for the Sacrament of Marriage? How can we take this for granted? What happens when we do? "May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives." How could this Psalm response be a wonderful morning prayer for us? How can we be the Lord's blessing to those around us, especially the family members we live with or have the most contact with? For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering. He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them "brothers." What does it mean to say that we are brothers and sisters to one another? Are we supposed to feel pain, hunger and hurt when those we don't even know experience hurt, hunger and pain? How are we responsible to reach out and help? But Jesus told them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate." When is it the most tempting to neglect the commitments we've made? What are the things that seem the most likely to separate us one from the other? And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them. How can *we* best love our children? How are we responsible to create a safe and secure environment for them? What are the promises we made to them when we brought them to Church to have them Baptized? How are these Scriptures comforting? Challenging? .=: S P I R I T U A L R E F L E C T I O N :=. The LORD God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him." How grateful we should be that God gave us the gift of one another. We can meet wonderful people in our lives. Some of us will fall in love and get married. Others will be presented with an endless number of people that we can choose as friends. As our families grow we have a place that provides protection, love and care. We can take advantage of all these things if we choose. And how much better things go if we do. "May the Lord bless us all the days of our life." What a wonderful prayer this weekend's Psalm response is. We should pray for God's blessing. We should pray too, that we can be a blessing to those around us. We can appreciate it deeply when others are a blessing to us. We can feel loved and cared for when others truly listen to us. We can be deeply grateful as they go out of their way to help us. Along with these blessings comes God's call to be the same kind of blessing to those around us. Sometimes we can forget that. We can try to get others to do things our way. We can demand lots of attention and service. We can come to believe that what we have to say is much more important than what others have to offer. We can feel less blessed and more lonely as we take and take from others without truly blessing their lives. We can become disillusioned with our life and find friends who feel the same way. We can make further bad decisions, even masking our feelings with alcohol or other drugs. We can give up on our commitments to husbands and wives, family members and friends as we seek happiness elsewhere. What a tragedy that can be for ourselves and for others who continue to love and depend upon us. This weekend's Scriptures call us to be faithful to the commitments we make. We're certainly called to be generous and kind to our family members and friends. We're called too, to be grateful for our husband and wife and treat them as the gifts from God that they are. We're called to be faithful to our commitments as well. Our marriage vows are sacred and we need to honor them. Our children too, are gifts from God and deserve a loving and secure place to grow up. We're not perfect, that's for sure. Sometimes we'll be confronted in painful ways by our shortcomings. Then we'll have choice to make. We can go on the way we have been, as a source of pain to others. On the other hand, we can express our sorrow, make amends and strengthen our relationships with others once again. This weekend's Gospel ends with a beautiful scene where Jesus' disciples try to keep the children away from Jesus. Jesus says, "Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." As we overhear these words we can be reminded of the things that are the most important in life. We can appreciate the gift of all the people in our lives and resolve to strengthen the relationships God has blessed us with. This week we can spend time taking inventory of the wonderful people in our lives. We can become more honest about the ways we have weakened and even demolished relationships with those who have been good to us. We can resolve to express sorrow and make amends to those we have hurt. In doing these things we can provide a much better example and a much better atmosphere for the children around us. Have a good week! (c)MMIX Fr. Pat Umberger. This Spiritual Reflection is found each week at the Web Site www.frpat.com. Feel free to link to this page or reproduce them for parish use as long as this credit remains. __________________________________________________ <TW>This Weekend is free, and comes from: Father Pat Umberger, a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse in Wisconsin U.S.A. Web Site: www.frpat.com Evangelization (reaching out): www.cmonback.com .=: M A K E A D O N A T I O N ? :=. www.frpat.com/donation.htm .=: F O R W A R D I N G :=. 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