June 22, 2017
by Diane Jorgensen
Creighton University's School of Pharmacy
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 368

2 Corinthinas 11:1-11
Psalms 111:1b-2, 3-4, 7-8
Matthew 6:7-15

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

It is clear in today's first reading that Paul is feeling quite misunderstood in his mission of preaching the good news, frustrated in his attempts to invite women and men into a personal relationship with Christ, and through Christ, to God, the source of all life and love. It is no wonder he is defensive, even sarcastic.

Take a moment to think about something you are passionate about. It may be your life's work or calling, as this is for Paul. It may be your desire to raise your kids with solid values, "make a difference" in the culture of your workplace, or to recognize and speak out against social injustice. When our efforts are misunderstood, when we are unappreciated, when we are the target of complaints and accusations or face other roadblocks in attempts to be true to our values, principles and commitments, we get defensive. We try harder to prove that our mission should be everyone's mission.

Jesus offers another way in today's gospel reading, in the words of the Lord's Prayer. Rather than a lot of anxious words, he tells us to keep it simple. Perhaps the words are so familiar that we need to take another look at what Jesus is inviting us to do:

  1. Call on the one who knows us more than we know ourselves, who loves us and our world more than we imagine.
  2. Ask for the grace to trust in God’s action, for whatever we are frustrated about we only have one limited perspective, one piece of the whole puzzle.
  3. Ask for the grace you need now - to let go of the self-righteousness of being misunderstood; the ability to face a conflict with equanimity; or whatever.
  4. Recognize your own limitations and shortcomings and ask for the grace to forgive yourself and to forgive others in theirs
  5. Affirm your trust in God that you will be guided; affirm your intent to be watchful of God's lead and the invitations that arrive moment by moment.
  6. Find something for which to be grateful.  Amen.

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