YOUR BODY OF WORK.

Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop
Lectionary: 489

Reading 1 Phil 3:17—4:1

Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters,
and observe those who thus conduct themselves
according to the model you have in us.
For many, as I have often told you
and now tell you even in tears,
conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their end is destruction.
Their God is their stomach;
their glory is in their “shame.”
Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
But our citizenship is in heaven,
and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body
to conform with his glorified Body
by the power that enables him also
to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
whom I love and long for, my joy and crown,
in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5

R. (1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Alleluia 1 Jn 2:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 16:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of wheat.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than the children of light.”

Reflection

“He will give a new form to this lowly body of ours and remake it according to the pattern of His glorified body.” –Philippians 3:21

Many people desire to get their bodies “in shape.” They want to feel good and look good. Having a healthy, fit body is a good thing, but it’s not the only thing. The reality is that our bodies will die. Health and fitness are fleeting. Whether your body is sick, infirm, or healthy, you can join your body to the body of Jesus hanging on the cross. Now your suffering is united to His, and is powerful. The psalmist observes: “Seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty, if we are strong” (Ps 90:10). Modern medicine and nutrition might even push life expectancy a few years longer. Yet our ultimate goal is not a few extra years of life, or a healthy, fit life, but the resurrection of our holy body to eternal life, so that our bodies will be members of the risen Body of Jesus.

How should we live in our bodies while on this earth so that our bodies and souls will be with Jesus forever? We make our bodies enemies of the world (Phil 3:19); we deny our very flesh, and crucify ourselves to the world (Lk 9:23; Gal 6:14). We don’t wait until heaven to have “remade” bodies (see Phil 3:21); we let Jesus “remake” us right now. Our bodies are “begotten from above” in the waters of Baptism and rise from the waters of Baptism reborn, remade. By hauling our bodies to frequent Confession and Mass, we keep our bodies holy and pure (see 1 Jn 3:3).

PRAYER: Father, my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and is not my own. Help me to glorify You in my body (1 Cor 6:19-20).
PROMISE: “We have our citizenship in heaven.” –Phil 3:20
PRAISE: St. Charles reformed his diocese which had been without a resident bishop for eighty years.

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