Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely
because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward
will be great in heaven.
Matthew 5

Tenth Week of Ordinary Time: June 6-12, 2010

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Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

Sunday in the U.S. is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. For the rest of the world it is the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time and in the Luke's Gospel Jesus shows his compassion for the Widow of Nain by raising her son from the dead.

The Friday after the Body and Blood of Christ is always the Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, with its own special readings, followed on Saturday by Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

During the week, we begin a three week period of looking at the Books of Kings. Elijah follows the Lord's direction and changes the hearts of many. The week ends as Elijah calls Elisha into service for the Lord.

This week we begin reading the Gospel According to Matthew, starting with the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is the new Moses, and offers us a new and radical teaching. It begins by his telling a small group of followers that they are blessed - not because they have their acts together, but because they are spiritually poor, meek, those desiring justice, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers and the persecuted. Salt and light explain who they are as disciples. They are to obey the law and prophets which Jesus came to fulfill. Whereas the law forbad killing, Jesus calls his disciples to be reconcilers. The law forbad adultery, but Jesus warns about lust and whatever is an occasion for sinning. The law forbad taking false oaths, but Jesus calls his disciples to a deeper fidelity and integrity.

On the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time and in Luke's Gospel we hear of the Pharisees who criticize Jesus for allowing a sinful woman to wash his feet. He tells them of two debtors who are forgiven. “Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.”  Jesus said, “You have judged rightly.”

 

Daily Prayer This Week

Having celebrated God's love for us through the Eucharist on Sunday, we are ready to enter this week to explore the depth of that love and the powerful call each of us is given to love one another. The Sermon on the Mount can help us be contemplatives in action this week. The Beatitudes are not eight new commandments. Rather, Jesus saw those following him and saw their weakness and their need, their goodness and their desire, even the cost they pay to follow him. He looked at them and called them “Blessed.”

Let us all begin this week letting Jesus look at us and call us blessed. Each morning we can practice choosing to focus our attention on some way we are spiritually poor or desiring justice, some way we are merciful or a peace maker, some way we might be experiencing the cost of being a believer, and simply asking our Lord to convince us of our blessedness there. It is likely that each of us, every day, can be attentive to some aspect of our daily lives, some part of our relationships or responsibilities, that place us right there in a place for Jesus to tell us that we will be comforted, satisfied, blessed beyond our imagining.

Some day this week, each of us will have the opportunity to be the salt that makes relationships, faithful living, have its flavor. We will have our chances to be light in the midst of the darkness that crosses our paths. We can ask Jesus those days - whether in the morning, or in brief background moments during the day - to have us not lose our flavor or to cover our light. And, all of us will face the greater responsibility of a disciple of Jesus, to avoid anger and find the path to reconciliation, to turn from lust and greed and to love genuinely and honestly.

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