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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2019
Witness with respect
John de Brébeuf had a singular talent for languages and spent much of his time with the Huron people learning theirs, from his arrival to what was then part of “New France” in present-day Canada in 1625 to his martyrdom in 1649. He spent years studying the native language and culture and translating as best he could between two very different worldviews and sets of beliefs. Though the record of missionaries to the “New World” (“new” to them, that is) is a mixed one, we can honor the memory of those who with sincere hearts tried to communicate the love of Christ to people in language they could understand.
“Everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.”
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2019
We’re stronger together
Most things are easier when shared. We stick to the diet if our spouse commits to it. We exercise with more discipline if a friend meets us at the gym. Working late is less lonely if others in the office agree to put in the extra hours. Is it any wonder Moses can raise his hands in prayer longer if he has company in his exhausting vigil? As the church observes World Mission Sunday, we recall the great commission we share to bring good news to all the earth. Together, we can bring light to all the dark places.
“Aaron and Hur supported [Moses’] hands, one on one side and one on the other.”
MONDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2019
Let’s care about those who care for
This is Pastoral Care Week, first held in 1985 by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains to honor all spiritual caregivers. The celebration is an opportunity for everyone to recognize the ministry caregivers provide—in hospitals, prisons, businesses, military settings, healthcare settings, schools, and more throughout the world. This week is also a chance for chaplains and pastoral care counselors, educators, and providers to share their stories. Express your appreciation to the spiritual caregivers in your life, and visit .org for more resources on how to participate.
“This night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?”
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2019
People, get ready
If the Lord came today, would you be ready to meet him? Or would you want more time to align your life with his? Take these questions seriously because you never know what the day holds. If you feel out of whack with the Lord and too focused on things of this world, consider this prayer of Saint Ignatius Loyola as a way to get ready: “Take Lord and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my entire will . . . . whatever I have you have given me; I restore it all to you and surrender it wholly . . . . give me only your love and your grace.”
“Be ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.”
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2019
To heal the past we acknowledge it
John of Capistrano (1386-1456), preacher, theologian, and Franciscan reformer, was also a leading proponent of the antisemitism that sadly has infected much of church history. During his era, Jews faced restrictions on where they could live and what they could own, were required to dress in a way that signaled they were Jews, and at times faced violent pogroms incited by fiery preachers such as John. As we acknowledge past shortcomings, let us remain vigilant to contemporary resurgences of intolerance in any form. The reform we need begins here and now, in our hearts.
“You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2019
Light your fire
In scripture, fire often signals God's presence, notably the burning bush Moses encounters and the tongues of fire that appear above the disciples at Pentecost. Fire also signifies a disciple's zeal for the faith. “An apostolic missionary must have both a heart and tongue ablaze with charity,” said Saint Anthony Claret, founder of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary order, better known as the Claretians. For the past 170 years, Claretian missionaries have spread the gospel message around the world, primarily through preaching and parish work, social justice advocacy, education, and publishing. The Claretian logo carries a flame to remind all Christians of their call to unceasingly expend themselves “to light the fire of divine love in the world.” Take steps to flame the passion of your faith today.
“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2019
Paul gets it
Who has not felt the anguish of Paul in today’s first reading, unable to overcome his own vices? He’s so disgusted with himself, he wonders, “Who will deliver me from this mortal body?” Although Paul hints that he’d like to be pure spirit, over and over our faith ties body and soul closely together, resting on the foundation that Christ became flesh. Our bodies may fail us, but they “are temples of the Holy Spirit.” If your body has let you down through illness or sin, know that you keep company with Paul, and perhaps ask Paul’s intercession. He understands.
“I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self.”
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2019
Think about it
Catholics proclaim the Nicene Creed on most Sundays when we gather to celebrate the Mass. Spoken in one voice as individuals within a community, it is how we claim the core beliefs of our faith. With the final words, we profess belief in the holy, catholic, apostolic Church, and in one Baptism for the forgiveness of sin. The final sentence is: “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” Here is the question: Do I really look forward to the life of the world to come?
“Lord, this is the people who longs to see your face.”
©2019 TrueQuest Communications. TakeFiveForFaith.com;email@example.com. All rights reserved. Noncommercial reprints permitted with the following credit: Reprinted with permission from TakeFiveForFaith.com. Scripture citations from the New American Bible Revised Edition. For more information about TAKE FIVE and our regular contributors, go to PrepareTheWord.com.