“Every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
Creighton University Online Ministries
Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Thirty-first Week of Ordinary Time: Nov. 5 - 11, 2017
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The Thirty-First Week of Ordinary Time
Jesus calls us to humility on the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time as he says in the Gospel of Matthew, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” He encourages us to turn away from honors and titles and to take the lowest place at the banquet.
We celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome; the Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church, and the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop.
During the regular readings this week, we conclude a four-week series of first readings from Paul's Letter to the Romans. He reminds us, “Who has known the mind of the Lord?”
In the Gospel according to Luke we see Jesus living out his daily life with challenging honesty. He calls us to extend an invitation out of our hearts, not with an eye on an invitation in return: “invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.” Then Jesus tells the parable of the invited guests who made excuses to decline the invitation. He sends his servants to invite everyone. Jesus tells a crowd that they have to renounce their possessions to be his disciple and that to do something really important, we have to prepare and be ready. When the religious leaders complain, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them,” Jesus tells parables of the man who finds his lost sheep and the woman with the lost coin, both of whom rejoice in finding what was lost. A steward protects himself by pardoning those who owe his master. We end the week with Jesus asking which is more important, God or money? “No servant can serve two masters.”
Being prepared for the coming of the Lord is the nugget in the gospel for the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. We hear in Matthew's Gospel the story of the foolish maidens who are not ready for their master's coming, and miss the wedding feast.
Daily Prayer This Week
This week guides us deep into our faith in several ways.
As we go about our very busy lives this week, we can continue to practice focusing our attention on an ongoing conversation with our Lord throughout the day. Our desires - for union with our Lord, to know God's love for us, to become more aware of our failings, to become more generous with our family and friends, to be more patient and forgiving, to love as we have been loved - can be expressed in these simple expressions. These expressed desires will naturally interact with the real events of our day.
The gospels this week will draw us into desiring to be more merciful and to not let money or pride dominate our behavior. We won't be “unprepared” if we keep making openings for our Lord to enter the ordinary moments of our days. In repeated momenets, we can simply open our hearts and ask God for the desire to have our lives focus on God's desires for us, rather than what our culture wants us to focus on so constantly.
Jesus welcomes us - even as sinners - and eats with us. He is the one who invites us to be like him in seeking out the lost, to growing in compassion. We can reflect all week on that call, in concrete terms in relation to the people in our lives and throughout the world.
Of course, we can prepare for Sunday by reflection on how we are prepared with oil in our lamps - and what that might mean for our "readiness" for the calls we are receiving from the Lord.
Each night, let's look back over the day briefly, and give thanks for a God who listens to our desires.
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