God Has Come to His People and Set Them Free- Reflection for Mass of October 19, 2009

19 Oct

Monday, October 19, 2009
Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Romans 4:20-25; Luke 1:68-75 (Responsorial Canticle); Luke 12:13-21

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has come to His people.” (1)

In place of a responsorial Psalm, today’s Mass includes the Benedictus, the beautiful hymn of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, from the Gospel of Luke. As religious, we recite this canticle every day as part of Morning Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. The repetition of the Benedictus, as powerful as its words are, can lead to an under-appreciation of the challenges that this prayer presents to us in our everyday lives.

I am especially moved by the first stanza of today’s responsorial canticle, wherein we show our gratitude toward God for having “raised up a mighty saviour for us” in the line of “His servant, David.” (2) Jesus Christ was sent among us in accordance with the promise of God conveyed through the ancient prophets. (3) The Benedictus continues beyond what is included in today’s Mass. However, in the Liturgy of the Hours we recite the verse: “And you, my child, shall be the prophet of the Most High. You will go before the Lord to prepare His way.” (4) Thus the difficult task of prophecy is extended to us, the children of God, from the prophets who preceded Jesus’ earthly life.

Our prophetic work as religious demands “our very life” of us (5), this day and for always, as Jesus tells us in the Gospel reading. Christ warns us that there can be no place for greed, materialism, and for worldly anxiety that are constant temptations to us from the affluence that surrounds us. On the contrary, we the prophets and children of God must continually store up in our souls the riches of Heaven (6): fraternal love, joy, and thanksgiving for the gifts of God and of each other in community. Thus, let us be an everlasting gift to God who now sends us forth in His name.

Through us, may the Lord be blessed, for “He has come to His people and set them free.” (7)



One Response to “God Has Come to His People and Set Them Free- Reflection for Mass of October 19, 2009”

  1. canadiancatholicblog October 23, 2009 at 12:34 pm #


    (1) Luke 1:68
    (2) Luke 1:69
    (3) cf. Luke 1:70
    (4) Luke 1:76
    (5) Luke 12:20
    (6) cf. Luke 12:19, 21
    (7) Luke 1:68


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