July 8, 2018
by Steve Scholer
Creighton University's University Relations
click here for photo and information about the writer

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 101

Ezekiel 2:2-5
Psalms 123:1-2, 2, 3-4
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Mark 6:1-6
Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Ordinary Time Symbols in Our Home

How many times have we paid a stranger or casual acquaintance a glowing compliment, even though we rarely compliment our spouse? How often have we praised someone’s son or daughter for their achievements, but neglected to praise our own children? Have we held the door open for a complete stranger at church, while we left our own spouse or family trailing behind us as we walked in ahead of them?

There is an old saying that “familiarity breeds contempt.” Perhaps it was the type of contempt that Jesus may have felt when he came to his native place accompanied by his disciples. Perhaps it was the type of contempt that led the crowd who gathered to hear him in the synagogue to question his teachings, because he was “among his own kin and in his own house.”

As Catholics, and especially as colleagues working together at a Jesuit university, we often hear of the strong emphasis we should place on social justice and the Jesuit mission to form leaders who value the importance of serving others. When we think of serving others, most, if not all of us, probably think about social justice and serving those who are less well off than us.

All of this is well and good, but is it only among complete strangers at the homeless shelter, for example, that we should hone those traits of selflessness and practice those service skills? How do we embody lives as women and men for and with others, in the presence of those we love most in the world, or those with whom we are in close contact every day?

As a case in point I distinctly remember a conversation I had at home one evening. My wife asked me to run a late night errand to the grocery store and she could quickly tell by my body language that I was less than pleased to go back out. Her response to my shoulder shrug was quick and cut to the bone. She said, “Why is it that if one of your clients from Creighton were to call and ask you to help them with a late, last minute favor you would be out the door in a flash but if I ask it is a completely different response?” My wife had me dead to rights, so to speak.

Today, as we spend our allotted time in daily reflection and examination of conscience, let us think about how welcoming we have been to our own kin, in our own house. Are we “giving service to others” in our own home, with our own family and close friends, and showing them just how much we love and value them, or are we saving that love and compassion for others?

Let’s work toward becoming better Catholics to all, including those close to us, and not just those we think need a hand up.

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