“Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
Luke 12

Creighton University Online Ministries
Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time:Oct.21-27, 2018

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Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

For the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time we hear the story from Mark’s Gospel about two of Jesus’ closest friends, James and John, who want seats of honor in “the Kingdom” they envision for Jesus. We can almost see Jesus shake his head in dismay that they have missed his point once again. He does not let his disciples get sidetracked into jealousy but calls them together again to give them his message: “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Paul's Letter to the Ephesians speaks about God's mercy and grace, calling us “members of the household of God” and saying that as a community we “are being built together into a dwelling place” of the Spirit. Paul, who was probably a prisoner at the time he wrote this letter, urges us to live “in a manner worthy of the call you have received” and calling us to patience and humility.

This week in Luke's Gospel we hear Jesus giving us his challenging message: be prepared for the coming of the Kingdom, be unencumbered enough to follow Jesus freely. When a rich man builds a place to store his surplus, God says, “You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you.” Jesus tells us to “be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.” Our faith and calling as Christians means we are called to go beyond what our world and culture requires: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Jesus envisions his mission on earth as a purifying fire, “and how I wish it were already blazing!” He tells us, “If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way.” The weekday gospels end with the parable of the gardener who saves the barren fig tree from being cut down, saying to his owner “Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.”

A vision of comfort and healing is offered for the Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time. In Jeremiah, we see the Lord gathering “his people” - the blind, the lame and the helpless innocents, bringing them together to console and guide them. In Mark’s Gospel, Bartimaeus, the blind beggar has the courage to beg for healing from Jesus. He is hushed by the crowd but continues to call loudly for Jesus, who hears him and beckons him. “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”


Daily Prayer This Week

As Jesus continues to head toward Jerusalem in this week’s readings, it can be easy to pray if we can focus. For simple thoughts and feelings to make their way into the background of our reflections this week we have to make a conscious choice to do it. Once we choose to let ourselves be reflective in this way, we can let this week’s readings into our consciousness.

It becomes real when I realize that I am on the road with Jesus to Jerusalem in my life. I can sense the resistance in me to face all that it means. I resist the call to greatness that Jesus offers – to be a servant for others. Greed can take a serious role in my life – unconscious, of course, but once I experience how many things I “want,” I’ll sense the role of greed within me.

I see the potential for fruitfully connecting with my Lord throughout this busy week when I hear the call to be “vigilant” and to be aware of the “signs” of times today. Some days we can begin our days like getting on a treadmill and going all day. If I’m only attentive to what is immediately in front of me, I start to lose perspective. With reflection, I can see the “big picture” again and why I’m here and for whom I am responsible. Sometimes I’ll have the courage not to be a “peace at all costs” person, but will actually take steps, say things, come together with others to “set the earth on fire.”

Finally, perhaps this week I can simply get back in touch with being “called” and respond in a dozen simple ways, to thank the Lord for calling me and asking for the grace to be faithful.

We can prepare for Sunday later this week by begging our Lord to heal our blindness – our blindness to who we are and who we are called to be – and to follow him on the road to Jerusalem.

Dear Lord, sometimes I can be so dense. Thanks so much for getting through to me now and again. When I “get it,” it seems that I want to be your disciple with every ounce of being within me. I really get the “fire” image you use. At other times, all I see is my needs and the ways I seem to be unfulfilled or falling short in some way. Release me from myself, that I might be free to give myself to my brothers and sisters who need my love and care. Then, I’ll follow you into the toughest of situations with courage and hope.

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