“Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10

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Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Twenty-Seventh Week of Ordinary Time:Oct.7-13, 2018

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Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

On the Twenty-seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time the readings speak of marriage and partnership. In the Book of Genesis, Adam does not find a suitable partner until the Lord creates woman. Psalm 128 praises the Lord who blesses home and family. In Mark's Gospel the Pharisees test Jesus asking if it is lawful for a husband to divorce his wife. The question is meant to be a trap for Jesus but he repeats the scripture in Genesis. The gospel ends with Jesus urging us to be like children were in that society - unimportant and with no status. “The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Then he embraced and blessed the children.

This week our first reading is from Paul's Letter to the Galatians. He chides and encourages this early Christian community and offers some history on the challenges he has faced as a disciple.

The gospel this week is from Luke, continuing with wonderful and familiar stories. The Good Samaritan who comes upon the robbery victim “treated him with mercy.” Jesus' close friends Mary and Martha welcome him to their home, but Martha resents working while Mary listens to Jesus. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part...” He teaches us to pray with a prayer to the Father. We are encouraged to ask, seek and knock on the door to get what we want from the Father. When doubters watch Jesus drive out demons, he gets discouraged and says, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” When a woman calls out that the womb that carried him is blessed, he replies, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

The powerful story of the rich young man will be repeated in the gospel centerpiece in the Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time. He asks Jesus what he can do to inherit eternal life and already keeps the commandments. Jesus offers him the challenge of the gospel: “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor ... then come, follow me.” Mark's gospel tells us that the young man “went away sad, for he had many possessions.” When Jesus tells his followers how hard it will be for a rich person to be saved they are astonished - and worried. They wondered how they could ever be saved. “All things are possible for God,” was Jesus' response.


Daily Prayer This Week

Anxiety about getting things done, fear of losing wealth and a lack of compassion for our neighbors are all themes in this week's gospel. This can be a week of asking God for the wisdom and discernment we need to find the balance in our lives and a sense of where our focus should really be.

We can do this by threading our days with an awareness of God's presence in the tiny moments of quiet time that we come across. As we awaken and sit at the side of our bed, we can simply ask, “Loving God, help me to love you today with all my heart, with all my being, with all my strength, and with all my mind. Help me to see you in my neighbor today.”

Later in the day, as things seem to go faster and get more complex, we can ask again not to be anxious about so many things and to remember the great gift of Jesus' presence in our lives. As we do the laundry, go to the store, or take care of family we can again ask our Lord to let us be aware of the presence of the loved ones we come in contact with - the real “riches” we have in our lives.

The Our Father has been called the Perfect Prayer and this week might be a good time to focus in on it with our whole hearts. In the quiet moments before we go to bed, we can practice this week saying each line of the prayer, very slowly, perhaps stopping to ponder one line that calls to our hearts in a special way.

Hallowed be thy name...
Thy will be done...
Give us this day our daily bread...
Forgive us our trespasses...
As we forgive others...
Lead us not into temptation...

May this week be blessed the ability to continue to ask for what we need, over and over.

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