Monday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

First Scripture Reading
Philippians 2: 1-4
Gospel Reading
Luke 14: 12-14

Opening Prayer

Jesus, sometimes You are impossible! Your demands make You seem ridiculous. Why do You ask that we invite strangers to our dinners, instead of people and friends we are comfortable with? No wonder so many people walked away from You! You seem like a hopeless romantic who does not work well in the real world. Yes, Lord Jesus, it is hard to follow You. Your sayings are hard and challenging. We want to follow You and fulfill God’s expectations of His children. Give us the humility to be servants rather than judging overlords! Fill us again with Your Spirit and Your Word, that You might penetrate and transform us so that we can transform this world in the justice of Your reign. Empower us to welcome strangers and the alienated to Your table and our tables! Help us to serve the needs of others rather than our own needs for comfort and security.

You are so wonderfully determined, gentle Therese.  You knew that your call to Carmel was from God – and even as you received resistance from many sources, you were not deterred.  On this day, in 1887, you fixed your hair to look older and courageously went to see your local Bishop to seek his permission to enter the Carmel early.  You knew he could override the others, but were not stymied when he vacillated.  Help us to remain faithful to calls from God deep within, even when others do not agree or affirm.  Keep us faithful to our vocation of life.

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