What have I done to alienate myself from God and others, and what have I failed to do? Take a moment to ponder these questions. Then ask yourself, What good have I done out of love for God and neighbor, and what temptations have I avoided?
The Inner Word
Trusting God comes easy for those who do it often and prepares them for the most difficult times.
Planning for the end times requires wisdom.
Much of scripture for "Leadership Sunday" indicts religious leaders for their sins. For leaders, the readings can serve as a kind of examination of conscience. Another approach, however, is to ask yourself not only where you have erred, but also where you do well.
Today’s message on the greatest commandment raises a question: Let’s assume for the moment that as a pastoral minister your “love of God” is well grounded. That being the case, which of the remaining is the more difficult for you: love of neighbor or love of self?
Jesus snares the Pharisees in their own trap in today’s gospel with his brilliant teaching to “render unto Caesar . . . . ” Their hypocrisy is revealed for all to see.
"Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!" God provides. When have you been fed and comforted by God? What do you bring in your heart to the Eucharist, God's feast? Love and gratitude? Or something else? What do you take away from Mass?
"Have no anxiety at all," Saint Paul writes. It's a tall order. But faith, especially the faith expressed in prayer, really can move us beyond all anxiety to the supreme peace God offers.
One way to think of obedience is in terms of "listening"; in fact, "to hear" is at the root of the word obey. What is more, repentance, one of the themes of this week's readings, could be seen as a matter of obedience, of listening to—and doing—the ways of the Lord and the voice of the church. Where do you do obedient listening? How do you act on it?
In the gospel parable, the workers protest—justifiably, it could be argued—against the owner of the vineyard for his unfairness. But as a story about God and God’s people, the meaning changes.