Philippians 2:12-18; Psalm 27; Luke 14:25-33
St Paul tells us in the First Reading to: work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
While salvation is by grace alone, we need to cooperate with that grace and do our part. God provides the grace so we can will and work for his good pleasure.
Jesus gives two parables in the Gospel today. The first one on building a tower and the second one on going to war. In these parables, Jesus tells us to make sure we commit ourselves when we surrender ourselves to Jesus. There is no turning back. We cannot be distracted by anything except the work of Jesus, not our parents, or anyone should distract us. Neither should our possessions distract us.
St Charles Borromeo was born from a noble family in the 1500’s. His uncle became pope who made him a cardinal at an early age. Despite these, he poured himself into reforming the Church which, at that time, was plagued by corruption in the hierarchy and battling the Reformation movement. He was a leading figure in the counter-Reformation together with Ignatius of Loyola and Philip Neri. As an Archbishop, he implemented reforms in his Diocese such as establishing seminaries to form future priests properly because he believed the abuses in the Church that resulted in the Reformation movement were caused by ignorant clergy. These reforms were met with resistance but he persevered.
St Charles is an example of someone who committed his life to the Lord and pursued God’s will through the grace of God.
Lord, let me always cooperate with your grace to work for my salvation with fear and trembling. Let me take my salvation seriously and detach myself from anything that will distract me from doing your will. I pray for holy bishops, priests and deacons who will commit their lives fully to you, and cooperate with your grace to do your will for your good pleasure. St Charles Borromeo, pray for me that I may live for the glory of God.