Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops

Middle East Synod Opening Liturgy at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome. 
Our Patriarch Sfier concelebrating with His Holiness. 
Read more about this important Synod 
which convened on Oct. 11th and concludes this week.

Sunday Scripture Reflection
In the Maronite Church this Sunday is the 6th Week of the Season of the Holy Cross.
By Abouna Anthony J. Salim, Pastor of St. Theresa's Maronite Church, Brockton MA

This Sunday’ s Readings make a practical point, which is good deeds that get us ready for the 2nd Coming of our Lord and for entering into his joy, as the Lord Jesus promises in the parable of the talents.

First Reading: Galatians 6:1-10
The believer is “ spiritual” as long as one submits to the Holy Spirit, and as long as the Spirit bears fruit in that one, so that one may see, understand, and compare Christian spiritual truths, in order to have a deep, correct, and global knowledge (1Corinthians 2:15). “ The Law of Christ” is the Law of the Spirit that Christ himself lived during his life on our earth, and the one who accomplishes this law becomes like Christ Jesus. Love is the first fruit of the Spirit and the fulfillment of the Law. It compels us to bear our brothers’ and sisters’ sins and shortcomings in order to assist them and lead them to conversion. This is the rule of participation among believers, and every believer has to express this Law of love, the Law of Christ, in one’ s life, acts, and relations with everyone. Next, the Apostle Paul warns believers about growing tired of doing good. He exhorts them to a personal and serious work, a faithful and unceasing struggle, as they long for the Day of the 2nd Coming of the Lord, who comes to reward them and repay everyone according to one’ s deeds. There is herein an application of the Lord Jesus’ teaching on the Parable of the Talents, this Sunday’ s Gospel.

“T’was grace that brought us safe thus far and grace will lead us home!”

Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30
This parable highlights the responsibility of the believer and the obligation of investing God’ s gifts, to settle a growing account to God on the Day of his Coming. The talent is a coin of gold or silver whose value is six thousand denarii (pl.), a denarius (sing.) being the daily wage of a laborer. This is an expression of God’ s richness and unending bounty: He gave us not only mind and will, a physical body
and health, and the earth’ s goods; he gave us also his heavenly Kingdom and allowed us to share in his divine life itself (in baptism), everyone according to his capacity. The Master’ s journey is, then, his return after a long time. It is a proof of the sufficient time given to us to act with our liberty and full responsibility until the 2nd Coming of the Lord, who will settle account with us. The reward is also gratuitous, freely given, an eternal joy with the Master! Punishment is for the servant who hid the talent in the ground and disobeyed his Master’ s command: “ … you should have put my silver on the money changer’ s table!” Furthermore, he disfigured his Master’ s image and represented him as authoritarian, unjust, greedy, and harsh, thus damaging is relationship with his Master as well. The adventure of faith is the thing that is needed, and faith is the acceptance of and faithfulness to God’ s grace freely given to