17 October, 2020. Saturday of Week 28

17 October, 2020. Saturday of Week 28

St Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr (Memorial)

1st Reading: Ephesians 1:15-23

May God enlighten your vision to see the hope you are called to

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Responsorial: from Psalm 8

R./: You gave your Son power over the works of your hand

How great is your name, O Lord our God,
through all the earth!
Your majesty is praised above the heavens;
on the lips of children and of babes
you have found praise to foil your enemy. (R./)
When I see the heavens, the works of your hands,
the moon and the stars which you arranged,
what is man that you should keep him in mind,
mortal man that you care for him? (R./)
Yet you have made him little less than a god;
with glory and honour you crowned him,
gave him power over the works of your hand,
put all things under his feet. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 12:8-12

Do not worry about how or what your defence will be

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defence will be or about what you are to say. For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”

Above place and time

Paul uses the metaphor of place to help us to understand that Jesus, who had lived on earth, was no longer limited to earth-bound existence. Through the power of God Jesus is now far above everything.
And what place is that? The risen Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Throughout the scriptures we are reminded that this is the place of highest honour and veneration. Seated in the heavenly place Christ is now able to see “in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.”
The man from lowly Nazareth is now far above all earthly powers. Paul wants to make sure that we understand that the power given to the risen Christ cannot compare with anything on earth so he names them all, “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21). Kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers, dictators, emperors, tyrants, czars — the risen Christ is far above them all. Paul says that God has put all things under Christ’s feet and “made him the head over all things” (1:22). We are to grow in our knowledge and understanding of the one whose power is limitless.
Finally, the risen Christ is far above the most limiting of all, time. We are captive to our limited time on this earth, this blue marble, but not the risen Christ. Our Lord Jesus is “above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come” (1:21). Christ is “the Alpha and the Omega,” the one “who is and who was, and is, and who is to come” (Revelation 1:8). (Lucy Hogan)

Not denying him

Jesus calls his disciples to be brave in bearing witness to him, in making him known even at risk to their safety. He promises that in this difficult work they won’t be left without help. When the time comes, the Holy Spirit will inspirt them what they must say.
Speaking about faith is just as hard today because so much of our culture and public discourse is hostile to religion, and in particular to Catholicism. We might easily be cowed into silence and invisibility and even abandon the very idea of handing on the faith.
To be faithful we must resist that temptation, and do whatever we can to commend the message of Christ. If we try to do that, we are promised the help of the Holy Spirit, who helps us in our weakness.


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