June 16, 2022
by Mike Cherney
Creighton University - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 368

Sirach 48:1-14
Psalm 97:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7
Matthew 6:7-15

Praying Ordinary Time

Prayers for Fathers and Husbands

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Judging Others? Or Ourselves?

Parenting Our Adult Children

The reading from Sirach honors the lives of Elijah and Elisha. The Psalm has God appearing in the midst of a storm. Jesus teaches the “Our Father” in the Gospel.

The readings leave me thinking about how often I am drawn away from the direction to which I am called. The events of everyday life provide a continuous source of distractions. Elijah and Elisha try to bring reform to a community that has fallen victim to diversions and disruptions. Jesus provides perspective on where thoughts should be focused. He provides a prayer that encompasses praise, intercession, and reconciliation. I am reminded of the times that my attention has drifted away from the meaning of the Our Father and has become merely repeating words (like the pagans?).

If I imagine myself in the crowd which Jesus is addressing, I see Him speaking with insight and confidence. I can also picture Elijah and Elisha in the same way. (There is clearly a role for discernment in listening to people who speak with a confident voice and purport to show insight. The television ads for many candidates competing in the primary elections demonstrate the need to discriminate between how things are said and what rings true.) This past weekend we attended a Mass where a grandnephew, who is a deacon in transition to the priesthood, read the Gospel and delivered the sermon. It was encouraging to see someone with the depth of faith of an Elijah or an Elisha.

My prayer today involves “keeping my eye on the ball.” As a very wise person under whom I had the opportunity to study wrote: Pondering and noticing interior movements of attraction and heaviness are at the heart of Ignatian discernment. Discernment involves prayer and weighing facts and feelings about the several good choices which ultimately leads to a choice about what is the best fit for an individual. (Doug Leonhardt SJ)

Dear Lord,
Far too frequently I lose my focus due to age and fatigue.
I often come home feeling that I am too tired to do much of anything.
Actions become tasks rather than movements toward that “best fit”.
It is easier to carry out prescribed behaviors than to invest the energy needed for insight.
Real prayer as well as weighing facts and feelings often fall to the wayside.
Help me to persevere.

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