Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Scripture Readings

Reflection on Scripture

Bishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was overwhelmed by the evil in his country. In prayer, he wondered out into the dessert and pray for guidance. What he received was a solution but not a solution of mortal man but divine guidance. In his frustration, he had no answers to the problems, and he finally turned to God and said, “I can’t You can”.

Today’s responsorial is taken from the sermon on the mount and the Beatitudes. “Blessed are the poor in spirit”. In other words, let go and let God. The greatest obstacle on our journey to salvation, is within each of us and it is called pride.

Pride takes many forms. But when we rely on ourselves and stop relying on God, we take a path to destruction instead of a path to salvation. How often have we been faced with situations that overwhelm us and cause anxiety? In those moments where do we turn? If we turn outward, and seek human solutions to our problems, there is a good chance that we are turning away from God. If we turn outward long enough, we may even begin to believe that we are god and no longer need to rely on divine wisdom and knowledge.

Today, is the day to examine our intentions and review what we rely upon to solve our dilemmas. Being poor in spirit means that we are not allowing our human nature to guide us, but we surrender to the will of the Father.

Jesus reminds us in today’s Gospel, that to covet material things and to feel secure in our possessions, is destructive to the human spirit. Security in the material world is placing faith in something mortal. We are called to place our trust in God and transcend our human tendencies to rely upon our human qualities. St. Teresa of Avila tells us that everything is in a state of change and nothing remains the same except for God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. All our possessions will wither and die but our human soul is eternal. Today, we have a choice to prepare for the eternal or allow ourselves to be stuck in the finite. Today let go and let God.

Deacon Phil