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Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

Jesus told his disciples a parable, after which they asked him, “Do you intend this parable for us, Lord, or do you mean it for the whole world?”

All that Jesus taught is meant for the entire world, for every man, woman, and child ever to be born. Jesus was speaking to people of every nation, of every color, of every age. None of us is to ignore anything he taught, not one speck of it.

There are, however, some things more important than others in what Jesus taught. There are things that are precepts (commands), there are things that are advice, and there are things that are suggestions.

We are to listen to all of it, study it well, then try to decide what is meant for us to make a part of our lives and character. We are not, however, to choose and pick only that which appeals to us on the basis of its ease and enjoyability. We are to be honestly objective with ourselves and accept into our lives even those difficult and non-enjoyable teachings we know are meant for us.

How can you know which teachings of Christ are meant for you and which are not? Not always easy.

But common sense and your conscience are at last two of the guides you have. Another, and a very essential one, is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been given to each of us for enlightenment and direction. Not only don’t ignore him, but pray to him every day, many times during the day.

When in doubt look his way, ask his advice, and see what happens. All that Jesus taught is meant for the whole world. But parts of it are meant especially for you. Are you obliged to find out which parts?

Do I treat others with respect and generosity? Do I advocate for those who are oppressed? Do I ask someone how they are and take the extra time to really listen, rather than let the question be a passing formality? Do I witness injustice and respond with both prayer and action? Do I respond to the suffering others are experiencing with compassion and accompaniment?

St. Teresa of Avila says, “I am Christ’s body on earth. You are Christ’s body on earth. Each person is Christ’s body on earth.” Are we treating each other as such?

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