7 Aug 2022 – 19th Sunday (C)

7 Aug 2022 – 19th Sunday (C)

(1) Wisdom 18:6-9

Learn from the Exodus: God will save us from all dangers

That night was made known beforehand to our ancestors, so that they might rejoice in sure knowledge of the oaths in which they trusted. The deliverance of the righteous and the destruction of their enemies were expected by your people. For by the same means by which you punished our enemies, you called us to yourself and glorified us.

For in secret the holy children of good people offered sacrifices, and with one accord agreed to the divine law, so that the saints would share alike the same things, both blessings and dangers; and already they were singing the praises of the ancestors.

Responsorial: Psalm 32:1, 12, 18-20, 22

R./: Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own

Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for loyal hearts.
They are happy, whose God is the Lord,
the people he has chosen as his own. (R./)

The Lord looks on those who revere him,
on those who hope in his love,
to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine. (R./)

Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
The Lord is our help and our shield.
May your love be upon us, O Lord,
as we place all our hope in you. (R./)

(2) Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19

In praise of faith, and of Abraham, our father in faith

(or, shorter version: 11:1-2. 8-12, omitting the text in italics)

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old, and Sarah herself was barren – because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”

All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

Gospel: Luke 12:32-48

Fear not, little flock. But be vigilant, faithful

[or, shorter version: 12:35-40, the text in italics]

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one o whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.


A faith still searching

There is a crisis in the life of faith of many Catholics, even in what once was complacently called “Holy Ireland.” It can be sparked by different things, like the past cruelties of an unjust system, a disastrous love-relationship, family tensions, the tragic injury or death of friends. Sometimes religious feeling can wither as financial prosperity grows, and our need for God is stifled by a sense of self-sufficiency. Perhaps new friendships that we make with nice people who hold no religious beliefs make us feel that God really does not matter after all. On school retreats we used to hear that going through a questioning phase does not mean we have lost the faith. Questioning of faith can also be a growth point. A faith which is challenged can emerge as deeper and more genuine, changing us from the comfort of childhood certainties to new horizons, searching to base our faith on our experiences.

Faith is neither a purely intellectual nor a purely emotional attitude. It has an intellectual side, professing what we judge to be true; and in part it is a matter of responding to feelings; but these are a gift of the Spirit which moves us to give ourselves over to One greater than ourselves. If we hand ourselves over to this sense of God and let go of the illusion of being only for ourselves, it can bring us inner, spiritual growth.

Faith is a special form of knowing, as when we know a friend. It touches an awareness deep within us, an awareness of God’s presence guiding and helping us. It is the experience described about Abraham, Jesus and other great figures in the Bible. Faith is an on-going process, growing as we grow, changing as we change, maturing and we mature. Our childhood faith cannot sustain us in adulthood, though it can develop into one that stays with us through life.

Experiences of faith will be sporadic, and cannot be precisely programmed. We must be grateful if, at privileged moments we feel God’s special presence, but at other times life will be confusing, full of darkness and doubt, with God silent and seemingly absent. And yet, even in times of confusion and loneliness, God really is there. This world is God’s and God really does know what is going on in it; other people are God’s people and when we dig deep enough, we can find God in them.

Living responsibly

“See that you have your belts done up and your lamps lit.” What meaning can these words have for us, after so many centuries of Christianity? The belts and the lamps indicate the attitude that the servants should have as they await the return of their master. Whenever he comes, they need to be there with their sleeves rolled up and ready for action. They need to be there with the lamps lit, to have the house lit up and to keep themselves awake.

We are called to live responsibly, not in a state of passive lethargy. In the Church’s history it sometimes seems very dark. That does not justify us simply turning off the lights and abandoning hope. It’s the time to awaken our faith and try to plan the future, even in an old and tired Church. The main obstacle to the renewal our Church needs today is the passivity of so many Christians. Unfortunately, for centuries we have been taught to be submissive to authority, rather than be active agents in our own church. But today, we all need to think, project and promote new paths of faithfulness to Jesus.

We need our leaders to encourage the laity to live their discipleship actively. This was one of the main aims of Vatican II, the first council that was concerned directly and explicitly about vocation of lay people. Individual believers today can be the leaven of our parishes in a renewed following of Jesus. They are the greatest potential for the health of Christianity. We need them more than ever to build a Church that is both open to the problems of today’s world and that is close to actual men and women.

Hanging in there

Abraham’s faith in God eventually brought him serenity and joy. The great patriarch had such trust in God’s promise that it kept him going through life. We are impressed at how Abraham obeyed when God asked him to leave the past behind and launch out into an unknown future.

The Gospel says that a whoever belongs to Jesus need have no fear. People who makes God their treasure, and commit to Christ as our guide to living, see life as a journey leading to our true home where a loving Father is there to welcome us. If we can keep our eyes fixed on the vision that God has promised and attune our ears to the voice of God in the scriptures and in the events of daily life, we can live with confidence in his presence.

The same Gospel suggests that God also makes demands of us. If the saints in Scripture had many proofs of God’s love, they also experienced suffering both as individuals and as a race. Often their faith was seriously put to the test, like that of Abraham and his wife Sarah, when it seemed that the promise of children could never be realized. The spirituality of Abraham ruggedly trying out to follow God’s call in the obscurity of faith remains a template for Christian faith.

We don’t know in advance what demands God’s love may make on us that will clash with our own plans. We cannot know when personal illness, bereavement or some other calamity will put us to the test. But we trust that our life will be a success if we set our hearts on being faithful to the will of God. Our faith, like Abraham’s, leads us onward, always pointing to something still to come. If we have faith like his, at the end of our pilgrimage all of God’s promises will be fulfilled.



    Readings: Sunday 7th August 2022

    Key Message:

    When we walk in faith, we rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus.


    Our Almighty Father inspires us to live with faith, through our second reading of the day.

    Father Abraham waited for 25 years for the promise of a child to get fulfilled. He was a big landlord with lot of slaves working for him. He and Sarah would have named many babies born to the slaves. When people had ten or twenty children according to the custom of those times, Abraham trusted in God for one little baby!! It was not for 5 or 10 but for 25 years.

    This may be a great lesson for us. Abraham trusted that God had a prosperous plan for him. In spite of all the impossibilities that his human eyes could see, he trusted in the possibility that God had promised him. In spite of all the challenges we see currently, we should trust in our Almighty Father who will provide for us. God always has answers to every impossible situation. Regardless of how many mistakes we make, when we go to Him, He will run towards with arms wide open, hugging us. That’s why when we really indulge our soul in prayer, we feel a lot of peace. This peace is due to the arms of our big Almighty God embracing us close to His heart.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ carried the same love in His bosom. The Bible says that during the last supper the Apostle John was lying on the bosom of our loving Lord Jesus Christ. It was not a happy time for our Lord Jesus Christ and all the Apostles, inclusive of Apostle John. All the Apostles were worried, including Apostle John. But only the Apostle John reclined on the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ during his suffering time. Can’t we recline at the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ during our suffering times?


    Is the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ reserved for the Apostle John alone? What made the Apostle John alone rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ, when other Apostles were also seeing it? It is the love of the Apostle John towards our Lord Jesus Christ. It gave him the boldness to lie down in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the presence of the rest of the Apostles. St. John owned Him – “Jesus is mine”!! Have you seen a small child feeling shy about lying down in the bosom of his father? The child always has a feeling “My daddy is mine”. This is the same feeling of ownership we should have towards our loving Jesus Christ.

    His bosom is waiting for us to lie down and take rest!!!

    We may say that since we cannot see the physical body of our Lord Jesus Christ how can we recline at His bosom? Father Abraham sets the perfect answer for us!! Neither did he have the privilege of seeing our Lord Jesus Christ physically during his lifetime on earth. But he rested on the bosom of our Almighty Father through his trust in Him.

    The Lord Jesus Christ says “Trust in me”, he did not say “trust in someone else”. Why do we go out of our way, reducing our self respect, also sometimes to people who mistreat us and seek their help? Our Lord Jesus never rejected any one who came to Him. Our Lord Jesus does not want us to undergo unnecessary crucifixion. Once we are done with our duty, the next step is to wait in peace for the saving help of our Lord. Our Lord has promised us “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”.

    When we receive the calling of our God through the silent voice of the Holy Spirit or through the Holy Bible or through messages to do something we have not experienced, we tend to ignore them. We hesitate because we do not know where the call is leading us to. Father Abraham also went through the same path. God called Abraham to go to a far off place, which He would show Him. Abraham was not aware of the destination, but he was aware of the God who knew the destination. Abraham obviously would not have had any answer when Sarah and others who followed him were asking “Where are we going?”. He would have replied “I don’t know, but God knows”.

    We may wonder where our life is going? We may not know but we know the one who knows.

    Are we getting frustrated when our Lord keeps us in the waiting room? Are we losing our faith and starting to look for alternatives? Sarah lost faith when she was in her waiting room (Abraham and Sarah were waiting for 25 years). Sarah forced Abraham to have a child from her maid. It was not God’s plan. So the child was not able to stay with Abraham. But God promised to take care of Ishmael and make him a mighty nation, though he was not part of God’s plan.

    Out of frustration, when we do something outside God’s plan, even then God our Father will set it right.

    God our Father will reimburse our foolish acts with His acts of wisdom, when we trust in Him.

    Let us have a quick look at the Gospel reading of today:

    ““Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” – Our Father is happy to grant us the kingdom of Heaven. Our Lord Jesus will build mansions for us in Heaven and He is also asking us to store our treasures in Heaven when we sojourn on earth.

    Our Lord Jesus is asking us to be dressed up for action. Certainly He talks about the dress we are going to wear when our time is done. He is asking us to live ready, since he may come at an unexpected hour. How great it will be, if we are able to smile at seeing Him, instead of fearing Him. He explains with the parable of the slave and the master.

    Then as usual the Apostle Peter asked whether these requirements are only for the Apostles or for everyone.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ explains the greater responsibility on the Apostles, since they are also in charge of other souls. In the earlier parable, our Lord was explaining the duties of a person who was responsible for his own soul only. Now he elaborates about the persons who are responsible for other souls.

    Carrying other souls on our shoulders is a huge responsibility. Our Lord Jesus will grant us grace, we should carefully utilize that grace.

    How can we carry other souls on our shoulders? Let us analyze how our Lord Jesus Christ performed it beautifully.

    1. Prayer –

    1.a : All the anointed souls will have the Holy Spirit abiding within them. The Holy Spirit will guide you on what to do at the correct time. Especially before celebrating Mass, being filled with the presence of God will be necessary. When we are filled with the presence of God, we can simply radiate the presence of God to the congregation. Please pray for more and more infilling of the Holy Spirit. Our Lord Jesus Christ never asked us to pray for food or clothing or shelter. But He asked us to pray for the Holy Spirit. He is our loving Father isn’t He? Won’t He know what we require? God our Father will happily pour out His Holy Spirit!!

    1.b : Pray for all the souls placed in our responsibility. The Bible says how our Lord Jesus prayed for us. He was our intercessor.

    2. Preaching – Our Almighty Father sadly said, “My people are perishing for lack of knowledge”. What did our Lord Jesus mainly do in the three years of His public life? He preached the Word of God. People are always willing and longing to hear the Word. Our preaching should go out into the world in such a way that Our Almighty Father will not say the same sad words again.

    3. Sacrifice – Our Lord Jesus sacrificed His own life for us. He underwent shame, people opposed Him, tried to kill Him by pushing Him down from the cliff and so on. But He was always kind to them and continued doing the task allocated to Him.

    4. Helping the people – Our Lord Jesus took care of everyone who came to Him. If we do not have the power to do miracles, we can welcome the suffering people with open arms like our Lord Jesus.

    Let us do all our best to save the souls in our care!!!

  2. Patricia Gamgort, OSB says:

    Readings: Sunday 7th August 2022

    I enjoy the daily homilies. Thank you for nurturing my spirit. But I had a difficult time with Thara Benedicta’s saying that Ishmael was not part of God’s plan. I believe God had quite a plan for him. He, too, became the father of a mighty nation of our sisters and brothers.

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