July 27, 2016
by Mark Latta
Creighton University's School of Dentistry
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 403

Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
Psalm 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
Matthew 13:44-46
Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

In the first reading Jeremiah pleads with God for relief against those who work against him. He expresses his dismay at his lack of pleasure in his work. We can take comfort in our own lives that when we face opposition we have the testimony of our own consciences through the Holy Spirit in our heart. Sometimes though, we can lose much of the pleasantness of our service to the Kingdom by the anxieties and uneasiness of our internal nature. The Lord directed Jeremiah to cease from his distrust, and to return to his work—just as he calls us to do the same. If we do, we are assured the Lord will deliver us from our enemies. Those who are with God, and faithful to him, will be carried through troubles or delivered from the snares of the world. Many things may appear frightful, however, we are assured of strength and support by the blood of the risen Christ.

In the Gospel reading from Matthew we have two related parables. Described are the cases of men discovering the Kingdom of heaven and understanding the need to sacrifice the lower wealth of the world in order to obtain the higher value. Today let us reflect on our own pilgrimages in seeking God’s Kingdom. Perhaps we did not start by seeking holiness or truth, but through the work of the Holy Spirit and the seeming accidents of life—a chance encounter, an encouraging word, the example of a living holiness in those around us brings to us the truth as it is in Jesus. As St. Ignatius challenges us to see God in things, let these parables remind us to be attentive to the revelation of the Kingdom in those around us—and to sell our distractions to see and be with those who manifest the Kingdom.

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