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Reflections and Perspectives

Welcome! Reflections, Testimonials, and Perspectives for St. Mary Magdalen are offered by our priests, deacons, parishioners, and others as guest writers. We will offer a Sunday Reflection as well as other topics. 

  • Deacon Anthony Cincotta

Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

October 29, 2020

Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians 6:10-20; Psalm 144:1b, 2, 9-10; Luke 13:31-35

In the course of any given day and even more so now, as we struggle through our countries most recent unprecedented circumstances, we do battle with many interior thoughts and feelings that invade our hearts. As we sort them out, we become aware that at least some feelings are not inspired by God nor do they lead us to God. Of course, this is not a good thing. So then, what do we do with them?

Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians gives some practical advice. Using the image of a soldier dressed for battle his letter advises us, “in all circumstances hold faith as a shield.” This image suggests that faith, when “held up,” can protect us against assaults from those unhelpful and unholy inspirations and temptations. Often we think of faith as something we either have or don’t have. But Paul pushes us to understand faith as something not just passively possessed, but something that is actively exercised. The image of holding up a shield implies actively “using” faith to “go up against” the interior thoughts and feelings that we know lead us away from God.

How then might we use faith as a shield? When confronted by feeling of fear and thoughts of “wow, I think I’m in over my head,” we might simply say internally, “Jesus, I trust in You!” When dealing with feelings of aloneness and thoughts of “no one understands what I am going through,” we might try to recall a scripture passage such as, “Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.” Finally, we may simply pray, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.” Friend, God’s Holy Word challenges us today, “In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield.”

Question of the Day: How will you let the Lord be your rock and your fortress?

Prayer: Please read Psalm 144—twice.

Responsorial Psalm (144:1B, 2, 9-10)

R. (1b) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock! Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war. R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock! My mercy and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, My shield, in whom I trust, who subdues my people under me. R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock! O God, I will sing a new song to you; with a ten-stringed lyre I will chant your praise, You who give victory to kings, and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword. R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!


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