July 7, 2020
by John Shea, S.J.
Creighton University's Biology Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 384

Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13
Psalm 115:3-4, 5-6, 7ab-8, 9-10
Matthew 9:32-38
Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Finding Our Way Back Home: Getting Un-Stuck in Prayer Life

As I write this, the entire world suffers from two public health threats: the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice. We struggle to find solutions while realizing that many of our leaders and institutions have failed us. I, like so many, feel like sheep without a shepherd. I imagine Jesus looking down upon the Earth and in the words of today’s gospel, “at the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned.”

Those who placed their trust in Jesus, like the mute man in today’s reading, find healing and liberation. Those who fail to trust in Jesus, like the Pharisees, find demons and darkness.

The prophet Hosea warns against placing our trust in false gods: “With their silver and gold they made idols for themselves, to their own destruction.” Where do we place our trust?

In these turbulent and challenging times, it’s tempting to place our trust in money and power. But we know that the coronavirus infects both the rich and the poor. We know that those entrusted with power, like our police force and government officials, can abuse that power. Others want to trust in themselves or in ideologies. But the coronavirus does not discriminate based on what we believe or do not believe. And much of the racial injustice we see today is embedded in systems built from toxic ideologies by individuals who also believed in themselves. And as a biologist, I’m tempted to place my trust in science to “solve” the coronavirus pandemic. But I also know that this virus is brand new and there is still too much we do not know. Science has limits. God, however, is infinite.

Echoing today’s Psalm, I know in Whom I must place my trust: “The house of Israel trusts in the Lord.”

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