English Español Mary Immaculate
Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

I Do Not Live For Myself

33rd Sunday in Ordinary-Time

“Blessed are those who fear the Lord.”Ps. 128

This is essential in a Christian, as we follow the Master by imitating His example, for He did not live for Himself but for others, to do good, and He made His life a gift from God to all, just as His disciples should be. If we do this, there is no room for personal whims, envy, jealousy, stubbornness, and obstinacy, as all of these come from selfish disorder, from living for oneself, from trusting in one’s own thoughts more than in God and His teachings.

“For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself; for if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”Romans 14:7ss

“And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”2 Corinthians 5:15

Living out these words that God asks of us is the greatest liberation you can experience from the worst rival of Christ on Earth, which is not the demons or atheists but one’s own selfish disorder. That’s why Jesus makes it a necessary condition to be His disciple:

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”Matthew 16:24ff.

In other words, we need to set our ego aside, for if we don’t, we won’t be able to follow Jesus. Instead, we’ll be following ourselves, and our desires, clumsiness, self-interest, and will shall prevail over God’s. The ego prevents us from following Jesus and aligns us with the enemy, sowing discord and division. It stops us from being a gift from God and a blessing to others because we’d rather rely on our own self-will than on God. In this way, God remains outside, unable to help us, as the ego does not allow Him in. The ego is the one that buries talents and is headed for destruction, disobeying God’s command.

A Christian does not live for him or herself; they do not seek their own interests or whims. They always prioritize what they believe to be God’s will. Therefore, they are worthy of our respect, as they seek to please God in everything they say and do. By heeding God, they put their talents at the service of others and bear abundant fruit.

“Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”Matthew 25:14ss

That’s why a Christian is a gift from God and a light to others, unlike those who do not set themselves aside and continue to seek power, prestige, wealth, etc. Instead of promoting and building communion, they cause division, for the ego is the enemy’s accomplice, and without God, it is blind.

Readings for the Week

Sunday: Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31/Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 (see 1a)/1 Thes 5:1-6/Mt 25:14-30 or 25:14-15, 19-21
Monday: 1 Мс 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63/Ps 119:53, 61, 134, 150, 155, 158/Lk 18:35-43
Tuesday: 2 Mc 6:18-31/Ps 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7/Lk 19:1-10
Wednesday: 2 Mc 7:1, 20-31/Ps 17:1bcd, 5-6, 8b and 15/Lk 19:11-28
Thursday: 1 Mc 2:15-29/Ps 50:1b-2, 5-6, 14-15/Lk 19:41-44
Friday: 1 Mc 4:36-37, 52-59/1 Chr 29:10bcd, 11abc, 11d-12a, 12bcd/Lk 19:45-48
Saturday: 1 Mc 6:1-13/Ps 9:2-3, 4 and 6, 16 and 19/Lk 20:27-40
Next Sunday: Ez 34:11-12, 15-17/Ps 23:1-2, 2-3, 5-6 (1)/1 Cor 15:20-26, 28/Mt 25:31-46

Observances for the Week

Sunday: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Tuesday: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Wednesday: St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr
Thursday: St. Clement I, Pope and Martyr; St. Columban, Abbot; Bl. Miguel Agustin Pro, Priest and Martyr; Thanksgiving Day
Friday: St. Andrew Dũng-Lạc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Saturday: St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr
Next Sunday: Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe