For where your treasure is,
Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time: June 15 - 21, 2014
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Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time
The week closes with Trinity Sunday, which always follows Pentecost. It celebrates the un-knowable relationship between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit - and their loving support for us in our lives.
Thursday, around the world - except the US- the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. Saturday is the Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, the beloved Jesuit saint who is the patron of youth in the Catholic Church.
The first readings this week continue our readings from 1 & 2 Kings and other Old Testament books. It follows Elijah and Elisha - powerful prophet and agents of God's word for the people.
The gospels this week continue the Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew's Gospel. In revealing his new and deeper way, Jesus shares a most counter-cultural law, “offer no resistance to one who is evil.” And, he tells us to “Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.” He proclaims, “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. ... For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?” And, just when we think he is asking the impossible of us, he goes even further, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” He warns his disciples against hypocrisy, “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them.” Praying and fasting have their own reward from the Lord. Jesus tells us to keep our prayer simple, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him,” and he teaches us the Our Father. Jesus tells us that “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light.” The week ends with his invitation to us to trust in God. “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?”
On Sunday while the US celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the rest of the world is immersed in the Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time. “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge... So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Daily Prayer This Week
There is nothing like the Sermon on the Mount to help us hear the message of Jesus, and to let ourselves be addressed by those words. All of us can ask for these graces with real specificity, that is, with real people and real daily circumstances in mind. We know with whom we need to “turn the other cheek” and to love more. We know the circumstances in which we are tempted to “be religious” in the right circumstances only. Upon reflection, each of us can take the time to “locate” our hearts, by discovering what we tend to “treasure.” We can do a simple check on ourselves: we make a list of the five most important things in my life. Then we can make a list of the five things I spend most of my time on. Comparing the lists will help us get concrete about asking the Lord for the grace we need to put our lives back in balance. All of us can name what we worry about. And so we can all ask for the graces to “seek first” the Kingdom of God
All of this reflection can happen throughout the week in the background of our daily life, if we get into the habit of focusing for a few moments each morning. If we take just 30 seconds, at the edge of our bed each morning, it will begin to establish a habit of living more reflectively.
Our version of a brief moment with the Lord - friend to friend - can be repeated and made more specific, while we are going about our day. Some days, we might have 20 such moments of prayerful conversation with our Lord - guided by the Word, the desires that are surfacing, and the events of our daily lives. And, each night, we can give thanks for this deeper relationship with the Lord that is developing in my heart.
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