June 8, 2022
by Kimberly Grassmeyer
Creighton University's Graduate School
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 361

1 Kings18:20-39
Psalm 16:1b-2ab, 4, 5ab and 8, 11
Matthew 5:17-19

Praying Ordinary Time

A Matter of the Heart: Prayer as Relationship

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

It’s a bit humbling to say it, but I can be a lazy Christian.  I mean that not in comparison to some ideal or saint-level human, but even as judged by my own standard of reasonableness. I don’t always do what a good Christian “should” do, nor do I always stand strong in my faith, professing and modeling in a way that would make my (heavenly) Grandmother proud.  Why?  Am I too confident in God’s grace, too understanding of the profound promise of my salvation, too trusting of Jesus?  

Today’s gospel lesson reminds me that these questions are absurd.  

Jesus’ statement in Matthew 5:17-19 was that he did not come to “abolish the law or the prophets” but rather to fulfill them.  These words seem to this reader to be invitational, aspirational.  Jesus isn’t speaking legalese, in my opinion, but rather reminding each of us that he - his very existence - until heaven and earth pass - assures us of God’s love for us.  We each have a place in heaven, period.  Now some of us, who find ourselves skirting the edges of some of the commandments a bit too often, and who may unwittingly lead others to stray from God’s word, may well end up being “called least” in the Kingdom.  Fair placement for me, to be sure, if I plan to continue being too-often lazy.

While I can’t hope to be among “the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven,” with Jesus' wake-up call I can work, on my best days, to follow in the loving, faithful footsteps that my Grandmother left behind; I pray that on those good days I’ll continue to grow in my faith, my faithfulness, and my fidelity to the teachings of Jesus, and to become more regular in my effort to "obey and teach these commandments.”  Do you have a relationship with someone - Jesus or a beloved human like my Grandmother - that can encourage your better angels, your better adherence to the commandments, your better effort to teach and model for others?  Not so that you reach the Kingdom of heaven - again, that is already assured - but to arrive content with the level of your efforts here on earth?  I hope so!  And perhaps we can pray for each other in that endeavor?  May God bless you and your good works. 

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