July 1, 2019
by Nancy Shirley
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 377

Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Psalms 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
Mark 5:21-43 OR 5:21-24, 35B-43

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Judging Others? Or Ourselves?

Today’s first reading focuses on justice and finding the righteous among the evils of the world.  We see that the Lord is willing to listening to Abraham and seek the good that was still in Sodom and Gomorrah.  We know the rest of the story that Lot and his daughters were saved.  As you are aware, as I write this reflect, I write it from my own reflection and experiences.  So I was most pleased to know that amid the evil there is good, so rather than concentrate on the evil, I choose to focus on the good that is still so abundant in this world. 

Since I’m writing this from the Dominican Republic (DR) surrounded by students and professionals who are focused on our mission here – cultural immersion, spiritual growth, and service, I was delighted that today commemorates Saint Junipero Serro.  Also known as the apostle of California, Saint Junipero Serra, a Franciscan friar, founded a mission on the Baja and the first nine of the 21 Spanish missions in California.  My heart is filled with reflections on all my experiences with ILAC (Institute for Latin American Concern).  Since my first trip here in 1985, I have been captivated with the program and the experience it provides.  Certainly the campos (rural villages in the DR) benefit from the dental, medical, and other health care provided.  But clearly the most significant benefit is the transformation for all involved – the students, the professionals, the camposinos.  We are touched in ways we never expected and, as is noted during the student orientation, when they leave, they are not the same people they were when they arrived. Hearts are broken . . .  broken open to experience connections that transcend language and culture. Sacrifices are made – five weeks away from home is not easy, living in a totally different environment, although quite an adventure, can be challenging and speaking in a language that is not your native language is exhausting.   Yet, we all said, “sign me up!” Events continue on without us, Fourth of July, vacations, and birthdays. I’ve missed being with my adult son’s on his birthday for the last six years.  He jokingly says he now celebrates his Cumpleanos instead of his birthday! But I believe he along with the rest of my family understand the importance of this yearly journey.  I participated only twice while my children were young and I remember a relative criticizing my being away from my children for 2-3 weeks to be here.  A young Jesuit in formation accompanying us helped me to put it all in perspective.  He counted the accusation of neglect with the idea that what better witness could I show to my children. . . .  I took great comfort in the thought.

Earlier this week a colleague sent a quote for our Monday morning reflection – it was from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran.

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and the sharing of pleasures.           
For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

It was a wonderful reminder of all the times my heart has found its morning – with children and grandchildren, with my husband, with my students, with the camposinos, with the flowers in my garden and so many others too numerous to count.  I am blessed that my heart has been broken open and every day is a new morning and a gift to be cherished, a new journey to be explored  . . .

A song link  . . . music does help to break open my heart. . . Matthew West challenges us to Do Something! 

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