23 September, Friday – A time to decide

Sep 23 – Memorial for St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), Priest

St. Pio (1887-1968) was ordained when he was 22. He founded the House for the Relief of Suffering in 1956, a hospital that serves 60,000 a year. In the 1920s he started a series of prayer groups that continue today with over 400,000 members worldwide.

His canonisation miracle involved the cure of Matteo Pio Colella, aged 7, the son of a doctor who worked in the House for Relief of Suffering, the hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo founded by Padre Pio. On the night of 20 June 2000, Matteo was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital with meningitis. By morning, doctors had lost hope for him as nine of the boy´s internal organs had ceased to give signs of life.

That night, during a prayer vigil attended by Matteo’s mother and some Capuchin friars of Padre Pio’s monastery, the child’s condition improved suddenly. When he awoke from the coma, Matteo said that he had seen an elderly man with a white beard and a long, brown habit, who said to him: “Don’t worry, you will soon be cured.”

  • Patron Saint Index

Ecc 3:1-11
Lk 9:18-22

There is a season for everything

The first reading from yesterday and today are powerful realities, are they not? Yesterday, we were reminded that our life is but a vapour – and we know that a vapour is basically a poof of nothing – it has no fragrance, it has no taste, it cannot be heard, felt, or seen, though we can hazily see through it for a few seconds. And today, we are told that we, the vapour, are appointed to be here at this appointed time in all of time. And in this blink of a life, we have a designated time to plant, reap, sow, weep, laugh, mourn, dance, scatter, gather, find, lose, be silent, speak, embrace, reject, love, hate, keep and cast away…God created time for us and we certainly use it all up, don’t we? We pride ourselves in being ‘busy’ and we pride ourselves in ‘doing nothing’. We pride ourselves in being the first one to arrive and last to leave…and on being the last one to arrive and the first one to leave. We pride ourselves on what we do – and don’t do – with our time.

What knowledge are we to gain from meditating on these two chapters?   

This is the wisest and most comforting I found in my research,

“The message in this passage of poetry centers on God’s ultimate authority in heaven and on earth. Humans have mastered many things in this world, but some elements of our existence are beyond our control. We cannot conquer time. God is the one who appoints each moment.”

That really sums it up perfectly, doesn’t it?  Humans have mastered many things in this world…

I especially like ‘..in this world,’ because it profoundly brings to my attention that God’s creation is so much bigger than this world, and most assuredly, our time in this world. The Creator is so much bigger than all that was, is and will ever be created. We are miniscule. And yet we are loved so completely that the Creator wants to share all eternity with us and made a way – THE way, Jesus – for us to be able to do that. My mind cannot quite wrap itself around this fact. A person walked this earth and horrifically sacrificed His very being to show love to and for us. Jesus did the hard stuff — all we have to do is accept the love and get to know this love that walked the earth in his own skin 2,000 years ago, and today is closer to us than our own skin.

In today’s gospel (like yesterday’s) we hear his words questioning us – “Who do the crowds say that I am?” and words again spoken directly to us as well as the Twelve, “but who do you say that I am?” This is a question that each of us must answer for ourselves. The enemy wants us to think that we have time, so no need to answer now. No need to ‘change’ yet. No need to spend time getting to know Jesus just yet. No need to intentionally plan time to create a relationship with Jesus, yet. 

He is Who is – Who was – and Who will be. Who is I AM in your life? 

Brothers and sisters, it is time to decide.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Gina Ulicny)

PrayerFather God, Creator of all that is good and holy and beautiful. How we stand in amazement at the great beauty you have created. How we sit in gratitude at the great love you have given us in family and friends. How we kneel in utter awe at the greatness of You. We ask that you continue to remind us daily WHO you are, so that we will walk in the enveloping love of You. Lord, help us to honour the time you have given us on this earth. 

ThanksgivingFather in Heaven, thank you for this time that you have given us. Thank you for all those we know and love. Lord, thank you for guiding us to brothers and sisters in this Catholic Faith so that we can grow in our relationship with You, and grow in love for each other.

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