October 22, 2016
St. John Paul II
Eph 4: 7-16
But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.” (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)
The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.
But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Gifts for the World
St. Paul reminds us to treasure and nurture those special gifts and talents God has shared with each of us. How boring life would become if we were all the “same.” Rather, the rich variety of our talents (and even our personal quirks) bring flavor to our lives, energy to our families, and unique service to our world. Indeed, like the vinedresser in today’s gospel parable, the Lord invites us to nurture these gifts and talents in all the “worlds” we daily inhabit.
The challenge of course is not to hoard our gifts, but rather to share them in whatever circumstance we find ourselves. So— as each of us goes about this weekend’s routine—what insight can I bring to a family meal or neighborhood gathering? What chore can I pick up to help someone else succeed? What email can I send or conversation can I share with someone in need of a laugh, a shoulder to cry on, a smile to keep going in the midst of this weekend’s many demands?
—The Jesuit prayer team
“Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity.
Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
― Pope John Paul II
THE POPE'S PRAYERS
Daily ExamenThe examen is a prayer popularized by St. Ignatius Loyola that helps us to recognize the ways that God is present and active in our daily lives.
- Stillness: Quiet yourself. Close your eyes and be still. Remember that in this moment you are in God’s presence and that God is now loving you. Take time to let yourself be looked at by the Lord.
- Gratitude: Take a few moments to recall one or two things from today for which you are especially grateful. Give thanks to God for these gifts and take time to savor them.
- Review: Review the events of the past day from start to finish, as if you were watching a movie. Notice the ways that God has been present today. Pay attention to your emotions and stirrings within your heart.
- Sorrow: As you have reflected upon your day, you may have noticed a moment from the day in which you have fallen short. Bring this experience to prayer and ask for God’s healing and forgiveness.
- Looking Forward: Look ahead to the next day and ask for God’s help and grace as you move forward with activities, commitments, and interactions with others. When you are ready, conclude your examen with the Our Father.
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