Daily Reflection
June 5th, 2004
Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Chaplain, Kiewit Residence Hall
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Memorial of Saint Boniface, bishop and martyr
2 Timothy 4:1-8
Psalm 71:8-9, 14-15ab, 16-17, 22
Mark 12:38-44

On first reading, Paul's words sound like a ringing call to perseverance in mission, a dedication that nothing can shake, and the satisfaction of a life well lived.  If, however, we see Jesus telling us not to throw our pearls before swine or commanding us, in certain circumstances, to shake the dust of a particular situation from our sandals, we might have second thoughts.  And if we go a little further, we might wonder how much Paul's words at the end of today's readings are reflected in that horribly self-centered song, "I Did It My Way."

We can't judge accurately and with certainty about such questions in regard to Paul himself, but we can do so when it comes to our selves.  There are certain problems, both personal and spiritual, that we cannot solve: we can only be responsible for our own efforts and our own readiness to sacrifice.  And when it is a question of whether we have really followed Jesus or only our own image of him, it is even harder for us to judge.

In the long run the best that we can hope for is the passionate life that Paul sets forth as an ideal but one dosed with the kind of patience and humility that only long and serious prayer can give us.

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