August 18, Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lord, come to my aid! — Psalm 40:14
Mass Readings: Jeremiah 38:4-6,8-10/Hebrews 12:1-4/Luke 12:49-53
Running Life’s Race
In high school we had an annual field day and while I always took part in the various dashes and races, I never did all that well. Where I excelled was the pie-eating competition! Chocolate pudding and whipped cream all over my face and in my hair, I won that competition on several occasions.
The author of the Letter to the Hebrews isn’t interested in pie-eating competitions, but he finds in races a wonderful metaphor for the Christian life. We must run with endurance. We must rid ourselves of burdens that would slow us down — feeling self-important, love of money, and other sins — just as successful runners have to shed excess weight and clothing. And we’re cheered on by a great “cloud of witnesses,” all our ancestors in the Faith who have run the race before us.
Prayer: Lord, help us to keep our eyes on the prize, eternal life with You.
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