July 26, 2016
by Tim Norton
Creighton University's Facilities Management & Planning
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 402

Jeremiah 14:17-22
Psalm 79:8, 9, 11 and 13
Matthew 13:36-43
Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

At Creighton University (CU) we strive for the Ignatian ideals of Cura Personalis.  As I’ve learned during my short tenure at CU, this Latin expression translates as "care for the whole person" and suggests distinct respect for individual's unique circumstances and concerns as well as their collective particularities, an appropriate appreciation of singular gifts and insights, and careful attention to the needs of others as individuals and as members of multiple social contexts.

In today’s gospel reading, the meaning of the words are apt to remind us all of the grave situations locally and worldwide that require us to care for the “whole person” and recognize individual “circumstances and concerns”.  With the recent law enforcement interactions and resulting confusion, some of which are understandable, I’m reminded that we have all encounter realities that give meaning to the prophet’s words, “Let my eyes stream with tears day and night, without rest, over the great destruction which overwhelms the virgin daughter of my people, over her incurable wound”, Jer. 14:17.

What can each of us do to make a difference?  If we recognize, point out, and stand up against evil, will it make a real difference?  The reality of unprovoked violence is that nothing positive can come from it.  In fact, the opposite is true; it will widen a gap of misunderstanding.  It’s not until we collectively choose to recognize that unique insight of each person is necessary to heal the “wound” of distrust, hate, and violence. 

As my father would often tell me, “help others when you can and you can expect help when you need it”.  I know I could do more in this regard but I’ve been able to accelerate my efforts of assistance in recent years because of circumstances earned, taught, or given.  Once I realized that my formation was a lifelong pursuit I could clearly see “the needs of others as individuals” and offer assistance when given the opportunity.

It is necessary for us to be arbitrators of the truth, which includes the faith of understanding and mercy, grace and love, the dignity of each individual, and "care for the whole person".  We must take a stance even when we suspect that it will bring ridicule or “tears”. We must never be afraid to disapprove, or lawfully demonstrate, against hateful or insensitive intentions.

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