FAITH & WORKS

WORDS VERSE ACTIONS

TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK IV

CANTICLE OF MARY – Antiphon “I say to you: there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.”

14-17 “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” ~ James 2:14-18 Message Bible (MSG)

Reflection Question:

“Have you ever confessed how much of a Christian you are and how much you love God but then treat someone close to you badly, ignoring their real needs because someone else told you to do so? Better yet… have you ever confessed your love and friendship for someone close to you but never truly defend them with both words and actions as Christ has done for you?” [Hint: God gave us all free will for a reason.]

Dear brothers and sisters, I say to you that God sees everything you do and hears everything you say. There are plenty of people in this world that have the gift of the tongue – they sound really really convincing and say all the right things when it counts, but their actions do not match their words. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who sorta sound OK but their actions are a great inspiration as they make sure they are in all the right places being seen by all the influential people but build detractors because of the harsh criticisms they say in private. Another example is those fake friends and lovers who will say they love you but are never around when times get tough. To all these sorts of people I ask, “What good is there in that?” “How are words without actions working for you?” “How are actions with harsh criticisms making a real difference?” To those fake friends – “How is being around only in the times of plenty emulating Christ?” 

Last week was centered on these words put into action, “Peace I leave with you…and “The Spirit of fear, God, therefore, did not give to humanity”. In that post, we discover how mankind is the catalyst for sewing the seeds of fear into each other for the purpose of convincing or controlling the situation or circumstances which arise from those actions and how God plays no part in the spreading of fear but yet is the light of peace in the world. The same applies here in this post… If our spirit is true and pure the words which come forth from our mouths will be from God as well as our actions emulate God. Words and actions together that glorify God and which overcomes this world of sinners is our mission plane and simple. So, I say to you my brothers and sisters, make sure every word you say is pure and filled with compassion and love. Likewise, make sure every action is in-line with God and His will, guiding your actions and emulating the love and peace which only comes from God above.

God-Talk with God-Actions Reflection

“Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 Modern Egnlish Version (MEV).

So… where did Paul choose to start with Timothy? In truth, I really like this epistle because it highlights so much of what every person is called to do not just Ministers and Priests, but also the laity – that being you and me. There is so much wisdom in Paul’s words, so much love in how he approaches the many duties of discipleship, and truly you can see the father/son relationship they shared. Beyond the greeting – “To Timothy, my true son in the faith…” (1 Timothy 1:2) to the warnings of false doctrine… (1 Timothy 1:3-20) Paul starts his instruction with the very topic Jesus had started with His very own disciples… that of  Prayer. That is the main reason I decided in my own life to begin a ritual of prayer using the Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours.  It was Paul’s deep desire that all people pray everywhere, clearing our minds of our earthly troubles and to open our hearts without contentiousness. (1 Timothy 2:8). The other thing which Paul does here is expresses Jesus’s deepest desires; being that all people be saved and come to the wisdom and knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4). Therefore, sounding good, talking the talk, and or showing up with a deep self-serving motive does you and those who follow no good because an act disguised as faith is no faith at all and therefore dead in the eyes of God. (1 Timothy 1:5-7) For true teachers are most concerned with devoting their entire life to the truth, wisdom, and shares their faith with both God-talk and God-actions with fidelity. This is a lifelong pursuit as God allows diversity to teach and mold you into the most perfect version of yourself possible. But this can not happen without any effort or thought to one’s own sins and the most heartfelt supplications lifted up with sincerity confessing to yourself and to God as Paul did in writing to Timothy that; “I accept that Christ Jesus came to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)  So my brothers and sisters, the power God gave us, (2 Timothy 1:7), is rooted in the knowledge of what Christ has done for us and because of His sacrifice we love Him;  1 ” I love the Lord, who listened to my voice in supplication, Who turned an ear to me on the day I called.”(Psalm 116:1-2). Paul expresses that through his supplications of being a sinner Jesus gave him mercy. (1 Timothy 1:15) Again, my brothers and sisters just as lip service doesn’t work with us humans it doesn’t work with God either. Thus, prayer with sincerity is what cleanses the soul and makes ready for those God-Actions. The fulfillment of being in harmony with God allows the obedient heart to show all patience, love, and mercy with each other which are some of the most wonderful fruits of the Holy Spirit. Beyond this pray earnestly for one another; even those people whom you do not like. For if you do not what good is there in that? Again, I say to you my brothers and sisters do not be as those who have plenty and are lost and thus act and sound pious. Rather lack nothing in your hearts… pick up your cross and follow Jesus exhibiting your faith with both your words and actions! (Mark 9:22).

Reflection Question: “Do you think that you will be strong enough to answer Jesus when He comes to you and asks, ‘Who do you say that I am?'”

LET US PRAY!

Thanksgiving to God Who Saves from Death

Psalm 116

Beseech the Lord


1  I love the Lord, who listened to my voice in supplication,

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

2 Who turned an ear to me on the day I called.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

3 I was caught by the cords of death; the snares of Sheol had seized me; I felt agony and dread.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

4 Then I called on the name of the Lord, “O Lord, save my life!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

5 Gracious is the Lord and righteous; yes, our God is merciful.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

6 The Lord protects the simple; I was helpless, but he saved me.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

7 Return, my soul, to your rest; the Lord has been very good to you.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

8 For my soul has been freed from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

9 I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

10 kept faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

11 I said in my alarm, “All men are liars!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

12 How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me?

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

13 I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

14 will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

15 Dear in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his devoted.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

16 Lord, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your maidservant; you have loosed my bonds.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

17 I will offer a sacrifice of praise and call on the name of the Lord.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

19 In the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!

Remember to also pray for all the victims of Sexual Misconduct within the Catholic Church, we all pray: (Month of September 2018) The Prays of Contrition & Reconciliation.

Special Prayer for Fr. Mike 
December 7, 1946 – September 9, 2018

The Ascension community thanks God for the time that Father Michael J. Mandala S.J gave as a beloved guest minister at Ascension Catholic Church… he will be sorely missed. We Celebrate his life of service to Our Lord and his ministry of giving on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 10 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church 6657 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood CA 90028.

Ant. I became all things to all men, that all might find salvation. Common of Pastors – Canticle of Mary – For a Priest.

5 “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. ~ 1 Peter 5:1-4 (NIV)

REST IN PEACE AND LOVE – FR. MIKE

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

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