July 7, 2022
by Michael Cherney
Creighton University's Physics Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 386

Hosea 11:1-4, 8e-9
Psalm 80:2ac and 3b, 15-16
Matthew 10:7-15
Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

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

Today’s passage from Hosea uses the analogy to a wayward child. The Gospel is the commissioning of the apostles to go out into the community with both its places of welcoming and its places of trial.

A few weeks ago, I was watching a panel discussion that included a woman who had served as a school principal. She talked about how for a long time she had let people into her office where they would ruminate on their concerns. She discovered that she had a long line of people who wanted to express their feelings and concerns. She felt that this catharsis was helpful, but also felt that things were not improving while a lot of time was being spent on this process. She went on to discuss an insight that changed things. She became aware that the focus needs to be talking to people rather than about people. Instead of having people tell her about problems, she encouraged people to discuss the problem with those concerned and when someone was apprehensive about doing this, she offered to be the facilitator for starting a dialogue. There was also a consideration of what constitutes useful dialogue. Some individuals are not ready to engage in a meaningful conversation and perhaps in those cases one needs to recognize that certain individuals may not be right for a particular team.

When I reflected on today’s readings this panel discussion kept coming to mind. Jesus gives a charge to his disciples. Sharing His message is not an easy task. He recognizes that certain conversations will go nowhere and perhaps in those cases stubbornly continuing is not the appropriate response. He recognizes the importance of an open heart in receiving the disciple’s message. Fortunately, God gives the disciples tools to use in the process, signs to help create that opening. For the disciples, the process requires a willingness to forego worldly rewards and the judgement to know when to move on.

I think of how often I have wasted time talking about issues with others rather than acting to resolve them. I think of how often I have stubbornly persisted when speaking to someone who was not ready to hear what I had to say. I even think about how often I found it easier to talk about God rather than talking to God.

Dear Lord,
The apostles faced a world in need of reform.
Their message met a mixed response.
Still through finding hearts open to change, their message was able to spread.
I find myself living in world in turmoil.
Opinions seem fixed and polarized.
Grant me the insight in seeing where and how hearts are open to change.
Allow me in the efforts of my daily life to be an agent of transformation.

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