March 1, 2019
by Colleen Chiacchere
Creighton University's Magis Teacher Corp
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 345

Sirach 6:5-17
Psalms 119:12, 16, 18, 27, 34 and 35
Mark 10:1-12

Praying Ordinary Time


Doing Lent As A Family

We are in a relatively long stretch of ordinary time as the beginning of Lent is around the corner.  The dark, cold and snowy days here in the Midwestern United States can be difficult and also quietly lifegiving, like nature hibernating, ready to burst out at spring’s invitation.  How attentive have we been, lately, to the extraordinary invitations that God has offered us, lately?  As one of my favorite homilists, Fr. Steve Sanford, SJ used to say in his homilies on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, "ordinary time is anything but ordinary.  During ordinary time, we are invited to notice the extraordinary ways that God is working and involved in our lives."

The first readings from Sirach speaks about our social interactions and relationships, which are an essential part of our everyday, ordinary rhythm of life.  I find the first line wise and effective as I speak to coworkers, family members, friends and acquaintances: “A kind mouth multiplies friends and appeases enemies, and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings.”  These days, I find myself particularly interested in convincing my five year old daughter as she engages in sibling rivalry with her younger brother.  Why can it be so hard to model Christ’s love, through a ‘kind mouth’ when we’re frustrated?

In the Gospel reading from Mark, we hear about the importance of our commitments, particularly in regard to marriage, as the Pharisees are testing Jesus.  Sometimes I feel this tension, as my husband and I are stressed by the many demands on our time, and find it difficult to consistently dedicate quality time to each other and our relationship with God.  There are always chores, a sick child who’s up in the middle of the night, demanding work responsibilities, lists of house projects and lots of other things we’d like to do more often.  For me, the urge to stay true to my marriage isn’t challenges by adultery in the traditional sense, but in the way I prioritize other demands on my time with my relationship with my husband.

In light of these readings, I invite us to reflect on any of these questions that might resonate with us:

Who are my friends and confidants in the Lord?  Maybe I take some time to prayer in gratitude for them and to share my gratitude with them.

Prayerfully, I take stock of the priorities and commitments in my life...  Does my daily/weekly schedule reflect my values, my faith and priorities? 

What do the daily consolations and desolations of my relationships invite me to do, in particular as we prepare for Lent beginning in the coming days?

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