Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
January 18th, 2010

John Schlegel, S.J.

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Monday in the Second Week in Ordinary Time
1 Samuel 15:16-23
Psalm 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23
Mark 2:18-22

In today’s first reading from the book of Samuel, we find Samuel, the prophet, dismissing Saul of his kingly title and authority.  Saul has displeased the God of the Israelites and is now paying the consequences.  It appears Saul misplaced his priorities and, indeed, his responsibilities as king.  That storyline triggers this question: What are our priorities this January day?  Two weeks into the new year, I suspect some, many or all of our New Year’s resolutions are tarnished, broken or forgotten!  Did those resolutions speak, in fact, to our priorities?

In my January 1st homily I referenced the series of historically altering events that shaped and defined the last decade: 9/11, Enron, the war on terror, the clergy scandals, Blackberries, Ipods, Twittering and texting, to mention a few.  These events challenged us and set the context in which we live, work, play, pray and learn.  It is in such an environment that we have to establish our priorities.

Undoubtedly we face challenges and difficulties, but at the start of a new year, we can focus on the good things that have happened in our lives: improved health, a marriage, the birth of a child or grandchild, graduation, or an improved relationship with God.  These are things we can reflect upon and allow them to temper some of the misfortunes we also experience.

Whether we are looking back, looking ahead or looking where we presently stand, the most important elements in our life are relationships with others, with family and with God.  These to me are the priorities around which we can craft an attitude for a new year.

No doubt many have experienced the effects of the downturn in the economy, the shrinking job market and the growing ranks of the uninsured.  But if we are people of faith—a person of faith—we believe that God’s plan is at work in our lives—mysterious as that plan may be.  God speaks in ways we may not understand or even detect; God challenges us in multiple ways—His ways! And in that we are called into a relationship closer than that of the people of Israel (mentioned in the first reading) and closer than those who knew and questioned Jesus in today’s Gospel. 

The priorities for 2010 are to maintain a close relationship to God and to one another.  Should that come about, you can re-make these broken resolutions and with new resolve, celebrate New Year’s every day.

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