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Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Rom. 7:18-25 & Lk. 12:54-59

Listen carefully to the words of St. Paul. “Instead of doing the good things I want to do, I carry out the sinful things I do not want…In fact, this seems to be the rule, that every single time I want to do good it is something evil that comes to hand.” (Rom. 7:18;21). This is the great St. Paul speaking. He is saying is so many words, “I’m a hopeless case!” But he is convinced there is a solution to his problem when he concludes his words with, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Jesus has triumphed over sin and death! We have been ransomed by His blood and now we are children of God! We are no longer paralysed by the power of sin. We can reject evil. We can now do the good we want to do – the good that our conscience prompts us to do. Once we were weak but now in Christ we are made strong. We can rise up and walk in the path of righteousness, following in His very footsteps.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! We are no longer captive to the law of sin and death. Its oppressive, hateful structures have been overturned by a love freely given, a love that surpasses any love we can imagine. Where once we had no option but to follow sin’s lead, we now have access to divine power! We can say ‘No’ to every evil inclination and refuse to be mastered by them any longer.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Our deepest longings for God’s law and His presence can now be fulfilled. God’s intentions for us can be realised as delight in His goodness and in our union with Him. His imprint on us can emerge and shine brightly for all to see. The sin that clouded our lives is washed away, and we become ever clearer reflections of Christ. His desires fill our hearts with joy.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Deliverance is ours! Jesus has overcome every form of bondage. The power of darkness need no longer hold us in fear or make us tremble. Our shackles have been removed and we can walk freely to the throne of God. No longer slaves to sin, we can offer ourselves in loving obedience to our Father, not as slaves but as highly-prized sons and daughters.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Death has been defeated once and for all! Our condemnation has been removed! What we could never do, Christ has done. Heaven is now opened for us, and we can live with Him forever and ever!

God delights in revealing His mind and heart to us. While it can look like Jesus is simply rebuking His disciples, and us, for not paying attention to the signs of the times, He is actually encouraging us to look around and see how His Spirit is at work on the earth. If we will look we will see that "the harvest is plentiful" (Lk. 10:2). The world is in its hungriest state ever. In our materialistic world, people are starving to know the love of God - often without even realising it. We try to fill the emptiness in our lives with counterfeit replacements for honest love - worldly pursuits like money, success, sexual encounters, drugs, alcohol and the like. As a result, we miss out on benefitting from the only love that really satisfies.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote that the whole of Creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed (Rom. 8:19). This is what we were created for - our adoption as children of God. That is why nothing else can satisfy us. Deep in our hearts, we are all longing to be united with Jesus.

Many look to the end of the world in dread because they do not know the wonderful things our heavenly Father has prepared for us, the joy of having an intimate relationship with Him. The closer we draw to the Lord, the more clearly we will be able to read the signs of the times because we will not fear what we may see, we will begin to understand God's intentions and trust that He is ever working for the good of His entire Creation.

Holy Spirit, renew our minds. Teach us to look forward to Christ's coming with hopeful and expectant anticipation. Prepare us to respond to whatever You ask of us in faith and obedience.

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