Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
August 9th, 2011
Daniel Patrick O'Reilly

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Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
414] Deuteronomy 31:1-8
Deuteronomy 32:3-4ab, 7, 8, 9+12
Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

Today’s readings seem to be about humility and being open to God’s guidance.  Moses tells Joshua and the Israelites that he will not cross the Jordan with them.  I’m betting there was a collective “gulp” at that news.  The leader for the last 40 years is saying this is the end of the line.  Moses tells them to be brave and steadfast and that the Lord will be with them.  The responsorial psalm (from Deuteronomy) says to proclaim the greatness of our God.  And in Matthew, the disciples want to know who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.  Jesus places a child in their midst and says whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven

When son number two began teaching his first year of high school, he was in a program where he was teamed with an experienced teacher who mentored, advised and encouraged him through the first year.  At the end of the year he presented to others in the program about his first year;  the ups, the downs, the good, the bad, what he had learned, etc.  Essentially, he reflected about the year.  It was very encouraging and rewarding to me to hear Trevor talk about his experience.  It emphasized to me how important it is to simply stop and think about what we are doing, why we are doing it and where we are going. 

Today’s culture does not encourage reflection.  Go, go, go!  Every waking hour has to be filled.  If the page does not come up in five seconds, click on to the next.  I don’t have time to talk, so I’ll just text.  The disciples are classic examples of this.  They wanted to know how to be the greatest.  No time to pray for guidance.  Just give it to us.  How many do we have to heal?  Tell us in 20 words or less.  Jesus, time and again, has to tell the disciples to come away with Him to a quiet place.

Today’s readings were very convicting for me.  I like to think that I am on a journey with Christ.  However, recently I realized that I was leading the way and calling to Jesus to hurry and catch up.  I’ve been leading a Wednesday night children’s program at church for a long time.  It is a wonderful program.  However, recently I realized that I had turned a gift into a burden.  At the end of the evening, instead of thanking God for the opportunity to work with children, I was just thanking God that I had made it through the evening.  The good part is I realized something was wrong.  I was sure the church would have a hard time finding someone to replace me.  And my ego of course said they could not find anyone who would do as good a job.  Thankfully, God used one of the more powerful weapons in His arsenal (my wife) to convince me otherwise.  I had become spiritually unbalanced.  I have a strong desire to serve others.  But I had stopped asking God for guidance and direction on how to do just that. 

My prayer today is for all of us who need to slow down.  That we would take time and make ourselves available to God.  That we would open our hearts to whatever God would call us to do.  That we would ask God questions and wait on the Lord for guidance, wisdom and answers.

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