KEEP THE STATUTES AND COMMANDMENTS OF GOD THAT IT MAY GO WELL WITH YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN AFTER YOU (Deut 4:40)

⏰Friday of the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time (11 August 2017 – Memorial of St. Clare)

????Deut 4:32-40; Ps 77:12-13, 14-15, 16 and 21 (R.v.12a); Matt 16:24-28

The Book of Deuteronomy tries to make one point very clearly, the fact that God is always on our side because he loves us, and he is able to do all things for us if we remain faithful to him.

In Deut 4:32-40, Moses reminded the people of the privileged they have enjoyed as the people of God, and encouraged them to reciprocate that favour by doing his will. This too is not to repay God for his deeds; doing so attracts more blessings and favour to us.

To be able to reciprocate that love appropriately demands total renunciation of the self and penance (cf. Matt 17:14-20). The way of Christian faith is not always an easy road, and Jesus never promised to remove the cross from it.

It is true that he invites those who labour and are overburdened to come to him for rest (Matt 11:28), he did not tell them to come without their own cross (see Matt 17:14ff). Rather, when we approach him with our cross, he would make it lighter for us in his own way (cf. Matt 11:29-30).

St. Clare, whose Memorial we celebrate today was a good example to us on that. Through the practice of detachment, self-emptying and trust in God, she was able to give herself wholly to God.

She was born of a noble family in Assisi but she abandoned the affluence of his father’s house and followed the simplicity of the way of St. Francis of Assisi, thus becoming the first female member of his group, and with whom the foundation of the female body of the followers of St. Francis would be formed.

May God give us the grace to follow him at all times even when life difficulties try to pull us down. And as we make efforts to follow him faithfully, may he lighten our crosses and grant us more and more blessings. Amen.

Have a grace-filled and stress-free day ahead. Peace be with you.

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