Jesus said, “Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”

-Mark 9

Creighton University Online Ministries
Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Seventh Week of Ordinary Time: Feb. 19-25, 2017

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Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

On the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time, Jesus gives us one of the biggest challenges to living the Christian life: Love Your Enemies. “I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well.”

Wednesday is the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, apostle, honoring Peter and all those who have served as Pope and Bishop of Rome. Thursday is the Memorial of Saint Polycarp, bishop and martyr.

The Seventh Week of Ordinary Time offers beautiful readings from Sirach, part of the “Wisdom” literature in the Old Testament.

The Gospel of Mark brings us the narrative of Jesus healing a boy possessed, an evil spirit the Apostles could not drive out. “This kind can only come out through prayer.” When the disciples argued over which of them was the greatest. Jesus tells them “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” He tells the apostles not to worry about those healing in the name of Jesus, “for whoever is not against us is for us.” He gives them a vivid description of the challenges of following him. “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.” When the Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a question about divorce, he replies, “What God has joined together, no human being must separate.” He encourages us to be childlike before God in trust and love. “Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.”

In the Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Jesus gives us timeless and loving advice. Don't worry, don't fret. Our cares distract us from God unless we can place our worries directly in God's hands. “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.”


Daily Prayer This Week

This week we see Jesus healing and teaching his disciples about the challenges of following him.

As we go through our week, in the smallest moments of the day, we can beg God for strength and courage in our lives. As we awaken in the morning, sort laundry or do the dishes, we can change our attitudes toward these chores and see them as sacred moments of invitation from the God who loves us with such fire and compassion.

Dear Lord, you know how I need healing. As you healed so many others, please touch my heart and help me to open my life, my heart and my soul to the love and healing you offer me. I know that if only I could trust in you more, it would change my life.

“I do believe! Help my unbelief!” Let me turn all of apprehensions over to you. I beg you to give me the wisdom and courage I need to trust more and to fear less. Teach me to feel your presence deeply in my life so I can stop clinging to my lack of courage and my fear. Let me release anything that holds me back from your love and the embrace of the freedom you offer me.

We can find the healing we so deeply want simply by asking God for it and then living as if we have received it. It is not about the amount of time we spend, but about an awareness of God's presence in our lives. Believing and trusting in that love and grace, we can find the humility to say, “I'm sorry” to someone we have hurt. We can take a moment to write a note or an e-mail telling a suffering friend we are praying for them.

And all day long, as we run our errands or sit at our desks, we can take a moment to say “Thank you” to the God on whom we have such an utter dependence and who loves us with such abandon.

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