June 5, 2018
by Colleen Chiacchere
Creighton University's Magis Teacher Corp
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 354

2 Peter 3:12-15A, 17-18
Psalms 90:2, 3-4, 10, 14 and 16
Mark 12:13-17

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Praying in Times of Crisis

Today’s first reading, about God’s promise to make all things new, offers us hope for things to be restored.  But, we are not just to sit around and wait passively.  We are encouraged to “be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him” and directed to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord.” 

Today, I invite us to reflect on ways in which can be open to opportunities to “grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord”…how does Jesus act, how might I imitate him more closely?  How might I get to know him better?

Our psalm today, reminds us and reassures us that “in every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.”  Whenever I read this line in Scripture, I immediately recall the hymn “In Every Age” that we often sing here at St. John’s Church during Sunday Mass.  Here is a beautiful version of the song by composer Janet Sullivan Whitaker.  When my worries or insecurities grow, having the reputation of the refrain and lyrics repeating over and over in my mind, or being, “stuck in my head” gives me peace and reassurance.

Another invitation for us today might be to rest in the reassurance of God being a source of comfort and shelter from our struggles.  In what areas do I need to be encouraged by God’s promise of refuge today?  Might I find a few minutes to listen to the beautiful song?

In the Gospel reading from Mark, we see the Pharisees and Herodians arguing and trying to catch Jesus by asking if they should pay taxes to Caesar.  Jesus doesn’t answer a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ but rather shares with them the directions to “repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” 

As followers of Christ, we have a duty to participate and live out our faith in all areas of our lives, including and especially in the public sphere.  Jesus highlights this duty for us in this interaction.  Religion and the public life/common good are not in opposition with each other.  Even more so, it is an important part of our duty as Christians to hold each other accountable, to promote social justice and help bring about the Kingdom of God here on earth.  Our relationship with God has to extend out to others; we can’t just neglect the work and avoid our civic responsibilities.  Respectful and just laws, like paying taxes, deserve our support and cooperation.

Finally, what ways might I be able to go a little deeper in my Christian responsibility to contribute to the common good? What one small change can I make today in this area?

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