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Sunday, November 5, 2023

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31st Sunday Ordinary Time

Malachi 1:14—2:2, 8-10
1 Thessalonians 2:7-9, 13
Psalm 131:1-3
Matthew 23:1-12

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the message, not the messenger

“We thank God constantly that in receiving His message from us you took it, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God.” —1 Thessalonians 2:13

As a teenager, I attended daily Masses said by Father O’Hare (not his real name). His style rubbed me the wrong way; it was hard for me to concentrate on his homilies. God used him to teach me to concentrate on the message, not the messenger (1 Thes 2:13). Here are some words of God from various “disturbing” messengers over the years that have stayed with me:

  • Sin is serious. Repent immediately (Mk 1:15).
  • We Catholics have the greatest news ever. We need to share this news with everyone (Mk 16:15).
  • “He Who has begun the good work in you will carry it through to completion” (Phil 1:6).
  • You have to work for justice if you call yourself Christian.
  • Jesus loves you passionately. Why can’t you love Him?
  • Here is how you wait on the Lord: “you just wait.”
  • The infant Jesus lies in a manger, a feeding trough. By this God shows us that Jesus is Food for us (Jn 6:55).
  • Teach the truth (Jn 17:17).

God uses all kinds of messengers to speak His words to us (see e.g. Mal 3:1). He may speak His most profound messages through the messenger we least want to hear. How about you? What words of God can you list from messengers whose style you disliked? What messages of God are you missing?

Prayer:  Father, use anyone You want to teach me anything You want. Open my ears that I may hear You at all times.

Promise:  “The greatest among you will be the one who serves the rest.” —Mt 23:11

Praise:  Alleluia! Jesus has risen and will raise me from the dead!

Reference:  (For a related teaching view, download or order our booklet Conversion-Conversations on our website.)

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