<TW>Weekend of 03 and 04 October 2009

.=:  T H I S    W E E K E N D  :=.
     from Father Pat Umberger

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.=:  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.




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<TW>This Weekend is free, and comes from:
Father Pat Umberger, a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse
in Wisconsin U.S.A.
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