Reflections on Daily Readings
August 29th - September 25th, 2021
August 29th to September 4th, 2021
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Second Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle I.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8; Psalm 14; James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
In the first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, we see that Moses has given the people the Ten Commandments and he encourages them to be faithful to them. By the people being faithful to them, non-believers will come to see that there is indeed a God to be followed – a God who is close to his people. In the gospel we see Christ admonishing the authorities for over-emphasising the letter of the Law and not adhering at all to the spirit of the Law. Our readings today remind us that the Commandments and the Law of God are there, not to make life difficult, but to give life, to improve the quality of life which we already have. Only by keeping the Commandments of God as he intended them can we grow and inherit eternal life.
Our second reading for the next five weeks comes from the Letter of St James and in today’s passage he is calling on the people to be faithful to the Lord and to follow the Word of God without making any changes to that Word for it is already perfect. The Word contains instructions for living under the law of God and inheriting eternal life.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Psalm 95; Luke 4:16-30
In our first reading today St Paul is encouraging the Thessalonians to remain faithful to God and he tells them that those who are faithful will be taken up to heaven to be with Christ. Some in Thessalonica had been worrying about their dead relatives and were beginning to despair like some of the pagans. Paul reminds them of how non-believers mourn when people die but that as believers there is no need to mourn: full union with Christ is what we seek and that with this thought we should console each other and remain in hope. For the remainder of this liturgical year we read from St Luke’s Gospel and in today’s text we see Jesus returning to his home town of Nazareth for the first time. He reads from the prophet Isaiah and then instructs the people, telling them that he is the fulfilment of the text he had just read. They were enraged because they thought they knew him from his childhood, and so they took him to one of the high ridges on which Nazareth is built and tried to kill him, but he slipped away. The text is a reminder that the message of God is not dependent on the messenger for its validity and that Christ is present in each person no matter how well we think we might know them. We must always be open to seeing and hearing the Word of God in others.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11; Psalm 26; Luke 4:31-37
St Paul in the first reading for today is encouraging his readers to remain faithful to God and to the Good News which they received from Christ. He refers to ‘the day of the Lord’ which is a phrase found in the Old Testament and which was used by the prophets to indicate that a new phase of human existence was about to begin as God cleansed the world. He says this because the new phase had just begun with the resurrection of Christ and so the people were to change their way of life in keeping with Christ’s sacrifice for them. They are also to encourage one another to remain faithful so as to receive the reward which God has for all who believe in him. The Psalm echoes Paul’s sentiments. In the Gospel passage from St Luke we see Jesus in Capernaum where he heals a possessed man whose demons recognise him as the ‘Holy One of God.’ The people are impressed by Jesus not simply because of his teaching but also because of the authority with which he teaches.
Colossians 1:1-8; Psalm 51; Luke 4:38-44
Today we begin reading from St Paul’s letter to the Colossians which he wrote while under house arrest in Rome (61-63 AD) following news of a crisis in Colossae. The purpose of this letter was to bolster the faith of the community but also to correct errors and heretical tendencies which had been introduced into the community’s faith. Paul begins by giving thanks for the people and their faith and telling them about how the Good News is spreading throughout the world. In our Gospel text we see Jesus healing people and casting out devils. He then tries to go to a quiet place while the people try to stop him because they want to keep him to themselves but he tells them that his message is for all people and so he has to go and sow the seeds in other towns and places. The message is for all people and we have a duty to help in the spread of that message wherever we may find ourselves.
Colossians 1:9-14; Psalm 97; Luke 5:1-11
St Paul continues to praise the people of the small town of Colossae today for their faith and in this way to encourage them to grow ever deeper in the faith. He reminds them that, through Christ, God has taken them out of darkness and forgiven them their sins. In today’s Gospel text we see Jesus calling Simon Peter and his companions to be his followers. They do so after they make a huge catch of fish on the lake, though they had caught nothing in the same place only a few hours before. What is key in this text is the complete and total response of Peter and his companions to Jesus’ call – ‘they left everything and followed him.’ This is in sharp contrast to the people in Nazareth, whom we read about on Monday, who wanted to kill Jesus after they had listened to him. A question for us today is whether or not our response is as total as that of Simon Peter, and, if not, why not.
Colossians 1:15-20; Psalm 99; Luke 5:33-39
In our first reading today we have a hymn in which the author reminds us of the central role of Christ in creation as its Lord. It is through Christ that all things are created and he is the perfection towards which creation is to move and to which we are being called. St Paul speaks elsewhere of Christ as being the Head of the Church (his Body) and this reaches its high point in this text. The Pharisees in the Gospel are questioning Jesus as to why his disciples do not fast like so many others. In his reply he tells them that as long as he is with them they will not fast. He also goes on to speak about new and old wine. The implication is that the new wine stands for the Good News and the old stands for the Mosaic Law. He doesn’t do away with the old because God’s will is also to be found in the old but the old is completed by the new. Jesus is showing how the Jewish people of his day preferred the old wine of tradition to the new wine he was offering them.
Memorial of St Gregory the Great, Pope & Doctor of the Church
Gregory was born about the year 540 to St Sylvia and her patrician husband who was a Roman senator. He first became a monk and was later appointed papal legate to Constantinople. He was elected pope in 590 – the first monk elected to this office. He was tireless in his defence of the primacy of Rome and in his encouragement of monasticism and the spread of Christianity. Much of his work still has an effect on the Church today in terms of the liturgy and the discipline of the clergy which he enforced. He is the fourth of the Doctors of the Western Church. He died in 604.
Colossians 1:21-23; Psalm 53; Luke 6:1-5
In the first reading St Paul reminds the Colossians of what they used to be and what they are now through the death of Christ. He wants them to continue on the path which brings them to greater union with God rather than the path which will take them further from God’s love – he wants them to go forwards rather than backwards. Again in today’s Gospel we see the Pharisees quizzing Jesus about the actions of his disciples who are breaking the Sabbath by picking corn. In reply Jesus tells them that in fact he is Lord of the Sabbath – he is not there to decide over Sabbath disputes but is the Lord of the Sabbath. In this way he is also telling them that as the Sabbath is subordinate to him then so too is the Law which they follow and use against the disciples. It is a reminder to us that Christ is Lord of all and it is to him that we owe our homage.
September 5th to September 11th, 2021
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Third Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle I.
Isaiah 35:4-7; Psalm 145; James 2:1-5; Mark 7:31-37
In our first reading we see God speaking through the Prophet Isaiah and telling the people that the one who is to free them is coming. Those who are blind will see, the deaf will hear, and the land will once again become fertile. In our gospel text from St Mark we see Jesus restoring hearing and speech just as the Lord promised through the prophet Isaiah. Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s word and he does bring us salvation and freedom – freedom from all that would keep us separate from God. The Psalm, which is a song of praise, also reminds us that the Lord has done much for us – he protects us, he feeds us, he is faithful forever. And with that in mind we approach the Lord in a spirit of praise and thanksgiving.
In the Letter of St James we read that we should never judge people using different standards – we should always deal with people by using the same criteria for each person because everyone is equal in the eyes of God.
Colossians 1:24-2:3; Psalm 61; Luke 6:6-11
As we read St Paul’s letter to the Colossians we see Paul telling them that he is happy to suffer for them because he believes so completely in the message he brings them and in Christ who is their salvation. So precious is the gift which he is handing on that he is happy to bear any hardship for their sake even though he has never seen them. This is part of Paul’s writing style to encourage the people to remain faithful to the message. In the Gospel text we again see Jesus in trouble with the Pharisees on a Sabbath day. He questions them and asks them if it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath because they would allow nothing to be done. What Christ does on the Sabbath is good for he healed a man with a withered hand. We are again reminded not to create too many laws and to make them our god but to serve God alone in purity and sincerity of heart.
Colossians 2:6-15; Psalm 144; Luke 6:12-19
St Paul reminds the Colossians of what it is that Christ has done for them and for us – he has forgiven all our sins, he has shared his divinity with us and he has freed us from all that would keep us from God’s love. These are Paul’s reasons for us to continue growing in the faith. The Psalm is one of praise for God. In the Gospel we see Jesus choosing his twelve most intimate followers and then going on to cure those who come to him. What is key in the text is that before he made his decision, Jesus ‘spent the whole night in prayer.’ This is a reminder to us that we too should pray to the Lord for guidance no matter what decision we have to make in life and no matter how trivial it may seem. With the Lord on our side to help us we should ask for that help so that we will be able to see our decision through to a successful end.
Memorial of the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Micah 5:1-4 or Romans 8:28-30; Psalm 12; Matthew 1:1-6, 18-23
Though we do not know the year or the day when our Blessed Lady was born, we keep this memorial in her honour.
Colossians 3:12-17; Psalm 150; Luke 6:27-38
In our closing section from the letter to the Colossians, St Paul exhorts us to put on love as the garment which covers all others and keeps all the garments of good living pure and spotless. In so doing we will put others before our needs and will please the Lord in all things. Paul also speaks about how important gratitude is as part of our daily lives. A similar theme is found in the Gospel where we continue reading from the Sermon on the Mount. Today Jesus is teaching the people to be compassionate just as God is compassionate and he uses very concrete and familiar examples to teach the people. The one we should always look to and try to imitate is God because he is perfect and shows us the way to eternal life.
Memorial of St Ciaran of Clonmacnois, Abbot
Ciaran (Kieran) was born in Connacht and went to the monastic school at Clonard before spending some time on Inishmore with St Enda. Following a vision he left the western isles and travelled across Ireland to Clonmacnois where he founded one of the most famous monasteries in the country and where he was noted for his virtues and miracles. He died between 549 and 556.
1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14; Psalm 15; Luke 6:39-42
We now turn to St Paul’s first letter to St Timothy, written in 65 AD, which opens with an invocation of God’s grace. Paul goes on to tell Timothy that he, Paul, was found to be worthy by God to be his messenger and this is a reminder that anyone can become God’s messenger at any time if they are willing to convert and become a true believer. Paul was one of the greatest persecutors of the early Church and yet he has been found worthy to become its greatest messenger to the Gentiles. Paul received a personal and unambiguous call on the road to Damascus but we are called every day by virtue of our baptism, though not always as clearly as the call Paul received. In the Gospel, Jesus is telling his disciples of the necessity to have the eyes of faith opened by his teaching so that they may lead themselves and others along the path that leads to life. Only when they have come to an understanding of the faith can they effectively teach it to others and build up the faith of the community.
1 Timothy 1:15-17; Psalm 112; Luke 6:43-49
In writing to St Timothy, St Paul reminds him that Christ came to save sinners. As an example and proof of that Paul says that he himself was the greatest of sinners and now he is counted as an apostle – appointed by God himself. Anyone who believes and is daily converted to the Gospel can become a disciple. In the Gospel, Jesus too reminds us of the necessity of daily conversion and really living out the Gospel message in our lives. Simply acknowledging Jesus will do nothing for us but if we acknowledge him and live out the Gospel every day then we will be on the right path to eternal life as he has promised us. This will also give a very good and encouraging example to others of real Christian living and so help the building up of the kingdom.
September 12th to September 18th, 2021
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Fourth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle I.
Isaiah 50:5-9; Psalm 114; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35
In the first reading we read a passage from Isaiah which we usually associate with Christ for he did offer his cheek to those who tore at his beard and he willingly accepted insult and injury for he knew that God was with him. In our gospel text from St Mark we see Jesus questioning the disciples as to who they think he is. St Peter makes his great profession of faith by saying that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus then goes on to tell them that he is to suffer and die, in fulfilment of the text we read from Isaiah, but the apostles do not fully understand what he is saying and so Peter tries to persuade him not to go to Jerusalem. Jesus rebukes him because he was, albeit through a lack of understanding, preventing Christ from carrying out his salvific mission. When we too prevent the kingdom of God from being realised on earth – even if it is simply because we do nothing – then we are no better than Satan who does not want the kingdom of God to become a reality.
In our second reading from St James the apostle reminds us that faith without good works is dead. It is not enough to say that we love God – we must let that faith be seen by the way in which we live our lives but without showing off or drawing attention to ourselves. In this way the faith of others and our own faith may be strengthened and renewed.
Memorial St John Chrysostom, Bishop & Doctor of the Church
1 Timothy 2:1-8; Psalm 27; Luke 7:1-10
Born about the year 347-349 in Antioch, John was ordained in 386. His gifts of speech and eloquence gave rise to the name “Chrysostom” – “Golden Mouth.” He was made archbishop of Constantinople in 398 and was one of the greatest of the four Greek Doctors of the Church and one of the Three Holy Hierarchs along with Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen. He worked tirelessly for the spread of the faith and its defence against heresies. His courage brought him many enemies and he was banished from Constantinople by civil decree on a number of occasions, which the Western Church tried to resolve but in vain. He died in 407 during one such banishment.
Feast of the Triumph of the Cross
Numbers 21:4-9 or Philippians 2:6-11; Psalm 77; John 3:13-17
St Helena was, for a time, wife of Emperor Constantius and was the mother of Emperor Constantine I – the first emperor to become a Christian. With her son’s approval she travelled to the Holy Land in search of the sacred places and relics associated with our Lord. Among the relics she discovered was the True Cross which she is said to have discovered on this day in 320 and in 335 had churches dedicated on Calvary and the True Cross venerated there. This annual feast is a chance for us – outside of the Easter Season – to reflect on the significance of the cross in our lives and of the redemption which Christ won for us by his death and resurrection.
Our Lady of Sorrows
Hebrews 5:7-9; Psalm 30; John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35
Today’s memorial recalls in a particular way the sorrows which Our Lady underwent as the mother of Christ. Mary, standing by the cross, ‘suffered intensely with her only begotten Son and united herself as his Mother to his sacrifice, consenting with love to the offering of the victim who was born of her’, whom she also offered to the Eternal Father (Marialis Cultus).
1 Timothy 4:12-16; Psalm 110; Luke 7:36-50
Again today St Paul reminds St Timothy, and those who read the letter, that what we do and say must be done properly and with care because it is done in public. As Christians we speak and act on God’s behalf as his disciples and so others must see that in the way we live our lives. Timothy is the ‘bishop’ of Ephesus and so must lead the flock by example and show to those who criticise him that he is right and a dedicated servant of the Good News. In the Gospel we see Jesus at table with some Pharisees when a woman of ill-repute comes into the room. She anoints Christ’s feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair. The polite guests are indignant that he should put up with this but he points out that she has done this because she loves him as her Saviour while the host failed to show him as much love or respect. Here again Christ is looking at the inner person and judging in a way which we usually overlook. We are reminded to be Christ-like in our actions and in our dealings with others no matter who they are for Christ is dwelling in each one of us.
Memorial of St Cornelius, Pope, & St Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
Cornelius was elected pope in 251 and was martyred two years later under the persecutions of Emperor Gallus. During the persecutions under the Roman emperors many Christians left the faith to save their lives eventually returning to the faith before they died or when the persecutions eased. Cornelius and Novatian clashed over this with Novatian saying they should not be re-admitted and Cornelius being more pastorally sensitive and forgiving. Part of this clash saw Novatian have himself elected as pope in opposition to Cornelius (Novatian was anti-pope from 251 to 258). Caecilius Cyprianus was born in North Africa at the start of the third century and became a lawyer before converting to Christianity and became a bishop in 249. He is remembered with Cornelius because he supported Cornelius in the struggle against Novatian and was beheaded on the 14th of September, 258 on the instruction of Emperor Valerian. Both of these men are named in the Roman Canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer I).
Feast of St Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem & Lawgiver of Carmel
Albert Avogadro was born in the middle of the twelfth century in Castel Gualtieri, in the plains of northern Italy. He became a Canon Regular of the Holy Cross, at Mortara, and was elected their prior in 1180. He was appointed Bishop of Bobbio in 1184, Bishop of Vercelli in 1185, and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1204. For nine years he was also a papal legate for Pope Clement III. Given the troubles in the Holy Land at the time of his appointment, he spent his time as Patriarch living in the northern coastal town of Acre where he was murdered by an unhappy Hospitaller on September 14, 1214. He is an important figure for the Carmelite Order because during his time as Latin Patriarch he was approached by the hermits living near the Spring of Elijah who asked him for a Rule of Life, a rule to govern their living in community. This he wrote in the form of a letter sometime between 1206 and 1214 and, in so doing, gave the formal beginnings to what is the Order of Carmelites.
Ephesians 6:11-18; Psalm 118; Matthew 20:25-28
The first reading from the letter to the Ephesians is one which was quoted by St Albert in the Rule of Life he left for the first Carmelites. The passage reminds us that even though salvation has been won by Jesus Christ, the Christian is to remain vigilant because evil forces are still at work, trying to lead people away from God. The idea of God’s armour has its origins in the Old Testament (Isaiah 11 and 59, and Wisdom 5) and it is to be worn by the Christian if they are to be successful in the struggle. In his Rule, Albert exhorted the early hermits to be aware of the presence of the evil one and to arm themselves against him. For Albert, the devil or the evil one was no mere symbol, but a living being who works against God.
The gospel text from St Matthew reminds us that we are servants to one another, and we are not to be served. We are servants of God, servants of the Gospel, and servants of one another. This is very much found in the Carmelite Rule where the Prior is first among equals, not their lord or master, but simply their leader for a time. These readings are particularly important for us as Carmelites as they give scriptural grounding to our way of life.
1 Timothy 6:13-16; Psalm 99; Luke 8:4-15
St Paul continues his exhortation to Timothy today and reminds him that Christ is the source of all life and so he must remain steadfast as a servant of Christ. As Christ bore witness before Pontius Pilate so too Timothy must bear witness until the end of his life. In our Gospel passage we have the familiar parable of the Sower going out to sow seed. The different places where the seed fell represent humankind’s response to Christ. The important phrase for us is “Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!” If we truly listen to the word of God then we will grow in the faith for we will realise the great promise that awaits those who listen, hear and take to heart the word of God.
September 19th to September 25th, 2021
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Fifth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle I.
Wisdom 2:12, 17-20; Psalm 53; James 3:16-4:3; Mark 9:30-37
In our first reading from the book of Wisdom we see the people plotting the downfall of a virtuous child of God. Much of what is said brings to mind the Passion of Christ and the suffering he went through in silence for us. In the opening part of the gospel we see Jesus speaking about his forthcoming sufferings while we also see the disciples arguing on the road about who is the greatest. They had misinterpreted Christ’s teachings about the kingdom and presumed that it would be a kingdom in which they would have honour and prestige. Ambition is a good thing but only if it is kept in check and if pursued for the right reason.
In the second reading St James reminds us to be peacemakers and never to allow our ambition to go unchecked for it can lead us far from the love of God. Peacemakers live out every aspect of the Gospel and this brings others to the faith.
Ezra 1:1-6; Psalm 125; Luke 8:16-18
For the next three weeks we return to the Old Testament for our first reading beginning today with the book of Ezra which was probably written in the third century before Christ but concerning the return from Exile in 515-513 BC. In our section today we see God moving the heart of King Cyrus to allow the Jews to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians and who were later defeated by the Persians who now rule the land. In the Gospel text we have the parable of the lamp in which Jesus reminds us that nothing is secret. We live and work in communities and so what we do will ultimately be known to the community but, more importantly, everything is known to God. Our faith too is something which is not strictly private for the Christian community is a public one and we are called to proclaim our faith in public though not so as to gain any adulation from others but so that others may see our example and, through us, come to know the living God.
Memorial of St Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest & Martyr, St Paul Chong, Martyr & Companions
Andrew and his Companions are known as the Korean Martyrs for they were martyred in that country. Andrew was born in 1821 and ordained in 1845, just one year before he became the first Korean priest to be put to death for the faith. In all it is thought that up to 10,000 Koreans were martyred for the faith between 1791-1867, many of whom were lay-people. Pope John Paul II canonized a representative 103 martyrs in Seoul Cathedral on May 6, 1984.
Feast of St Matthew the Apostle
Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13; Psalm 18; Matthew 9:9-13
Very little is known about Matthew other than the fact that he was a tax-collector and wrote one of the Synoptic Gospels, which he wrote in Hebrew. Accounts of his martyrdom are unconfirmed.
Ezra 9:5-9; Psalm – Tobit 13:2, 4, 6, 8; Luke 9:1-6
Today, Ezra the priest praises the Lord for he has given the people a refuge even after they had sinned against him which resulted in their slavery to the Persians. They were in slavery because they did not keep the covenants and had strayed from the Law of God. Yet God is still faithful to them and has moved the heart of the king to allow them to rebuild the Temple and now they have a place in which to worship and to continue their faith. The Psalm reminds us that while God punishes us for our transgressions he is still merciful. In the Gospel we see Jesus sending out the Twelve on their first solo mission to preach in his name. They are to preach and to heal and to prepare the people for the Good News. We too were commissioned at our baptism and have been sent out every day since to preach and to heal, but how many of us have actually done that for even a few minutes a day? If we were all to be faithful to our promises then this world would be a better place.
Haggai 1:1-8; Psalm 149; Luke 9:7-9
Our reading today goes back a few years in the history of the Israelites to about the year 520 BC. Work on the reconstruction of the Temple has slowed down at this point and the Lord sends the prophet Haggai to remind the people that while they live in very fine dwellings, the Temple of the Lord is still lying in ruins. The Lord instructs them to consider how life has gone for them and to then go and prepare the materials for the new building. In the Gospel today we see that Herod has become aware of the presence of Christ in his jurisdiction. He has also heard the people speaking about Jesus and it shows us that despite his many signs and miracles and his preaching, the people still do not see Jesus as the Messiah. They still think he is John the Baptist or one of the ancient prophets come back to life. We too must ask ourselves who Christ is for us. Is he simply a saintly man, someone who preached about love and moral living or is he really our Lord and Saviour?
Memorial of St Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), Priest
Francesco Forgione was born in southern Italy in 1887. He joined the Capuchin Friars and was ordained priest in 1910. He suffered from ill-health and was thought to have tuberculosis at one stage. While praying before a cross he received the visible stigmata on September 20, 1918. His fame spread far and wide after the end of the Second World War and crowds flocked to hear and see him. Many miracles have been attributed to him and he was a gifted confessor. He founded a hospital in 1956. He died on September 23, 1968, and was canonized in 2002.
Haggai 1:15-2:9; Psalm 42; Luke 9:18-22
The Lord speaks through the prophet Haggai in the first reading and tells the people that he will bless the Temple which they are about to build him and it will be greater than the Temple of old. The people had become disheartened as they built this new structure because it had none of the splendour and magnificence of the building which had been commissioned by Solomon. The Psalm reminds us to always hope in the Lord no matter what. In the Gospel text for today we see St Peter make his great profession of faith when Jesus asked the disciples who they say he is. In their reply they also tell him what the people think and it echoes the text we had yesterday in which Herod reminds others that he had John the Baptist beheaded. Jesus is the Christ of God and that is the faith that we are called to repeat with Peter each day. But do we truly believe that or are we still blind like the people of the time? For if we truly believed then our lives and this world would be so much better.
Zechariah 2:5-9, 14-15; Psalm – Jeremiah 31:10-13; Luke 9:43-45
In the first reading today from the prophet Zechariah (written between 520-517 BC) we see the Lord telling the people that he will be the wall around Jerusalem which will protect the city and its people. At the same time he will be the glory which dwells in the midst of the people in the centre of the city. The people will not need to build a stone wall around the city for the Lord himself will be their protector when he returns to Zion. For the second time in the Gospel this week we see Jesus telling the disciples that he will be handed over and will eventually die. They still do not understand what he is saying and they are too afraid to ask. We have the benefit of their accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Christ and so we know that there was no need for them to be alarmed but to rejoice for salvation was in their midst. How much more they could have enjoyed the living presence of Christ had they known what we know? And yet we have this knowledge but do we really enjoy living in the presence of Christ knowing that salvation has not only been promised to each one of us but has been guaranteed through the death and resurrection of Christ?