Daily Reflection
February 16th, 2001
Joan Lanahan
Nursing School Chaplain
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Genesis 11:1-9
Psalms 33:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
Mark 8:34--9:1


Maybe Mark's gospel today and the story in Genesis, the tower of Babel, is where the phrase, "lording it over all" comes from.  A tower, symbol of power, "we can see all," is certainly an apt metaphor for "lording."

Jesus is asking us to put our priorities in place.  This world is so full of temptations to riches and fame and power.  That's not the way Jesus lived nor calls us to live.  It's one thing to have a "retail therapy" day once in a while and another to buy-buy-buy.  It's honorable to be thanked in public for good works and another to be hungry for fame and fortune.  It's good to use the power we have to empower others.  It's wrong to use power to manipulate and control others.

Temptation to riches, fame and power bombards us daily.  It entices us to all kinds of wrongs.  Another side of temptation is its gift to us.  Gary Kukav in Seat of the Soul, talks of temptation as "the compassionate way of allowing you to see your potential pitfalls."

Yes, a gift.  Temptation can be a bird whispering to us, "Where is the balance here?  Is something out of sync in my heart?"  Choosing priorities and choosing to maintain balance means we say "NO" to some people and some things in our lives- for the sake of goodness.  The movie, "Chocolat," is a picture of goodness and people struggling with goodness and how to make loving choices.

Jesus is warning us to be aware of our choices.  Choose goodness and building a Better World and we are promised God's world.  Let God lord it over all!

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