Sunday, September 8, 2013

Today's Mass Reading - Sunday, September 8, 2013 with Reflection

Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

1ST READING - Wisdom 9:13-18 (Micah 5:1-4 or Romans 8:28-30)
13 Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what our Lord intends? 14 For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans. 15 For the corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns. 16 And scarce do we guess the things on earth, and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty; but when things are in heaven, who can search them out? 17 Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom and sent your Holy Spirit from on high? 18 And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight.
P S A L M - Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17 (or Psalm 13:6, 6)
R: In every age, O Lord , you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust, saying, “Return, O children of men.” For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night. (R) You make an end of them in their sleep; the next morning they are like the changing grass, which at dawn springs up anew, but by evening wilts and fades. (R) 12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. 13 Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! (R) 14 Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. 17 And may the gracious care of the Lord our God be ours; prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands! (R)
2nd READING - Philemon 9-10, 12-17
I, Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus, 10 urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment, 12 I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you. 13 I should have liked to retain him for myself, so that he might serve me on your behalf in my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary. 15 Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man and in the Lord . 17 So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.
Let your face shine upon your servant; and teach me your laws.
Luke 14:25-33 (or Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23 ) 25 Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, 26 “If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? 29 Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him 30 and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ 31 Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? 32 But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. 33 In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”



The Gospel today talks about discipleship: “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Discipleship entails sacrificing our life, even to the point of death, much like Jesus’ own death on the cross in order to follow the design of His Father in heaven.

       It is very telling that today is September 8, the birthday of Mary, the Mother of God. She is the perfect model for us, being the first disciple herself. She might not have known it in the beginning, but she was destined for great things, for the most challenging yet most fulfilling role: to be thetheotokos, the Mother of God. Her yes to Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation speaks of her unconditional assent to God’s plan for her.

       Mary shared in the cross of Christ. She remained faithful to her Son, journeying with Him every step of the way. She was happiest when He was born, most submissive when He started His public ministry, and most devastated when He suffered and died on the cross.

       Mothers play a crucial role in the lives of their children. They can, as it were, make or break their future. With this said, the decision to be a mother goes beyond the willingness to carry the child in one’s womb. It demands commitment to rear children to their fullest potential, to be there in their children’s joys and pains, trials and victories.

       As the whole Church remembers Mary today, we are challenged to renew our own yes to the will of God for us. If we truly want to follow the Lord, we need to allow ourselves to experience rejection, pain, hurt, betrayal, suffering — knowing fully well, because we trust in the Lord who saves, that there is something great waiting for us in the end. When Mary said yes to be the mother of God, she also said yes to the pain of the cross, which her Son was bound to carry. But she still said yes because she knew in her heart that the pain was just part of what she was destined to be. She was humble enough to accept God’s invitation to be part of His plan for the salvation of men. Fr. Erick Y. Santos, OFS
REFLECTION QUESTION: How do you honor Mary, the Mother whom Jesus shared with you, and your own earthly mother?
Lord, like Mary, may I remain ever obedient to the will of the Father. Amen.

St. Adrian, pray for us.

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