January 27, 2019
by Joe Zaborowski
Creighton University's Director of Purchasing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 69

Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 15
1 Corinthians 12:12-30 or
1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27
Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

Praying Ordinary Time

Parenting Our Adult Children

I took a different approach in reflecting on the readings for today. I had the opportunity to attend a silent retreat at The Cloisters on the Platte a few days before my reflection was due. I decided to risk my deadline and wait to write my reflection on today’s readings until after the retreat. It was a decision that was well worth making. Scripture and the Word of God are certainly featured in the Old Testament reading and today’s Gospel. Discernment and understanding one’s gift(s) in God’s plan certainly is the highlight of the passage from Corinthian’s. Some of today’s Epistle was even a part of our Morning Prayer on the third day of the retreat.

Over my life I’ve been exposed to and embraced Ignatian Spirituality.  An undergraduate and graduate degree from Jesuit Universities; working at Creighton and taking advantage of as much spiritual development that I could; and sitting and listening to my Jesuit cousin priest in my youth into early adulthood, all have spiritually formed me through life. I thought I was prepared for the movements of the Spirit that would happen at the retreat. That was a bad assumption. I don’t know if it was maturing into the winter of my life, the contentment of retirement freeing me to listen openly, or just things happening in God’s time, not mine. Whatever the reason, there were multiple moments of clarity that jolted my inner soul during the retreat. The extended time in Lectio Divina; walking the Stations of the Cross and slowly meditating on every visual image of Christ and people in the scenes;  being particularly struck by the Fourth Station when Jesus meets his mother, Mary, emotionally portrayed with their arms outstretched trying to touch each other; the idea that came from nowhere to pick up Butler’s Lives of the Saints as my primary reading material over the long weekend; the moments spent in Eucharist Adoration that so filled me with the presence of Christ that I could not hold back tears of joy. All of these encounters with God rocked my inner core.

So what does this have to do with today’s readings? The simple answer is from the Gospel – Scripture is fulfilled in Christ. He taught and continues to teach not only “whole regions” but the entire world today. So my hope for me and all is to continue to listen and be open to the spirit. We can easily get caught up in the noise of life: Work, family, political rancor or the latest Netflix original series. I must remember to put aside the worldly more and more each day and follow Christ. Perhaps not as well as those saintly men and women that I read about in the Lives of the Saints but in my own way. The goal is not to be read about in a book but to give glory to God and do His will with the help of the gift of grace. One of the reflections from the retreat poignantly reminded me of the path to strive for:  “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  So, with the help of the Triune God, I will continue to look forward to the great spiritual journey.

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