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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

A Foretaste of Heaven

Thursday, September 7, 2023

by Fr. David M. Knight

View readings for Thursday, 22nd Week of Ordinary Time:

Lectionary no. 434 (Col 1: 9-14; Ps 98: 2-3, 3-4, 5-6; Lk 5: 1-11)

The Responsorial (Psalm 98) assures us: “The Lord has made known his salvation.” Do you have any doubts that it has been made known to you?

In Colossians 1:9-14 Paul is continuing to thank God because “The Lord has made known his salvation” so visibly in the Colossians. What he has heard (see yesterday’s reading), and what he asks for the Colossians in his prayer, is the five-fold fruit of Baptism:

Acceptance of a new identity: “Lead a life worthy of the Lord” (whose body you have become). We celebrate this in the Introductory Rites.

“Grow in the knowledge of God” as committed disciples, students of his mind and heart. We give ourselves to this in the Liturgy of the Word.

“Multiply good works of every sort” by putting faith into action as prophets whose lifestyle is inexplicable without faith. Paul prays we will grow beyond law-observance to “full knowledge of his will through perfect wisdom and spiritual insight.” This enables the prophetic witness we commit to in the Presentation of Gifts.

“The love you bear toward all.... The gospel... has borne fruit and has continued to grow in your midst [and] everywhere in the world.” We surrender ourselves to bearing fruit in ministry as “priests in the Priest” and “victims in the Victim” by uniting ourselves to the words and action of Jesus in the Eucharistic Prayer.

“Endowed with the strength needed to stand fast” as faithful stewards of Christ’s kingship, and to “endure joyfully whatever may come,” because God has “rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins.” We experience this in the Rite of Communion, a taste and foretaste of the “wedding banquet of the Lamb” that gives us courage.

What we celebrate in Eucharist is the “source and summit” of our Christian life. Here, above all, “The Lord has made known his salvation.”

In Luke 5:1-11 the crowd “pressed in on Jesus to hear the word of God.” The Liturgy of the Word is discipleship. It is our expression and experience of faith.

Jesus told Simon, “Put out into deep water.” In the Presentation of Gifts, we pass into deeper mystery, presenting the created to be made divine. Revealed in our behavior, this is prophetic witness.

Jesus added: “Lower your nets for a catch.” In the Eucharistic Prayer, we unite ourselves to Christ for the ministry of “catching people.” This is love.

“They left everything and followed him.” The “foretaste of heaven” in the Rite of Communion strengthens us to abandon all we have to God, receiving it back to manage solely in his interest as stewards of the kingship of Christ. This is hope.

Action: Let the Lord “make known his salvation” to you at Mass

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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