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First Reading
Wisdom 18:6-9

1. Are you certain enough of God’s covenant with us that you can carry out a “leap of faith”? What gave the Israelites the courage to begin their journey into the unknown desert land? How do you make smaller leaps, maybe a hop or two, of faith in your everyday life?

2. “The night of the passover was known beforehand to our fathers, that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith, they might have courage.” Does your faith in Jesus’ promises (such as the “inexhaustible treasure” in Sunday’s Gospel) give you the courage to stand against injustice What about the inhuman treatment of immigrant children on our borders or human trafficking?


Second Reading

Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 or 1-2, 8-12

1. Abraham was called away to unknown country. Do you sometimes feel you are on an uncharted territory of faith? Who helps you, with certainty and responsibility, in such unmapped areas of faith? What tests your belief? And why would God ever call you to unknown places?
 
2. God promised Abraham that he would have many descendants. What allowed Abraham to offer his only child? Can you relate to this story in any way? How is your trust?


Gospel

Luke 12:32-48 or 35-40

1. “Be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks,” Jesus tells us. Do you remember to “watch” for God in your everyday life? Where would you find him?

2. When you look for what Jesus here calls the “inexhaustible treasure,” he suggests: “Sell your belongings and give alms” … for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Pope Francis, speaking to the youths in the Philippines, tells them to “become beggars,” to help them learn to receive. If they [we] are evangelized by the poor, what “inexhaustible treasure” will we receive from them?

You still lack one thing. Become a beggar. This is what you still lack. Learn how to beg. This isn't easy to understand. To learn how to beg. To learn how to receive with humility. To learn to be evangelized by the poor, by those we help, the sick, orphans, they have so much to give us.
                                                     
Have I learned how to beg? Or am I self-sufficient? Do I think I need nothing? Do you know you too are poor? Do you know your own poverty and your need to receive? Do you let yourselves be evangelized by those you serve? This is what helps you mature in your commitment to give to others. Learn how to open your hand from your very own poverty.

Prepared remarks of Pope Francis at the
University of Santo Tomas in
Manila, Sunday, January 18, 2015

 

Anne Osdieck
Art by Martin (Steve) Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go http://www.ltp.org