Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
August 13th, 2014
Nancy Shirley
College of Nursing
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Wednesday in the 19th Week of Ordinary Time
[415] Ezekiel 9:1-7; 10:18-22
Psalm 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Matthew 18:15-20

Our readings today challenge us about the concept of judgment – both God’s judgment of us and our judgment of others.  In the first reading from Ezekiel, we see that God directs that those persons who are worthy (i.e., those who are innocent and not idolatrous ) be marked with Thau.  Although it is clear in the Old Testament what the idols were of concern, I wonder how that translates to our current “idols” --  what are the things that consume our attention and resources while taking them away from our primary purpose.  How do we assure that we are not living idolatrous lives but rather are true in all ways to our faith?  I was recently on a mission trip that made me again consider what the “necessities” of life are – what are the “things” that I really need.  Interestingly enough, on my first day back at work, my little calendar of daily inspirations showed the following for that date:
               What do we live for, if not to make the world less difficult for each other?     . . .George Eliot

The second reading conveys Jesus’ perspective on how to handle conflict with others.  He directs that we should confront the situation head on with the person involved.  If that doesn’t work, bring some others along and try again.  If that still doesn’t work bring in the authorities in the form of the Church.  At that point you have done all you can and must let it go – “treat him as you would a tax collector.”  Then the reading takes a turn . . .  Jesus  now talks about praying and the power of prayer especially as we gather together. 

As I pondered these readings and my reactions I experienced two events that gave me even more food for thought.  I attended funerals for two men who died within days of each other.  One still young by our standards with so much more to accomplish yet he had chosen priesthood as his profession and had accomplished numerous wonderful deeds in his short life time.  The other gentleman had lived a long life choosing a secular path with a profession and family.  His life too was full of wonderful deeds and was also as beloved as the first.  At each funeral I thought of the many lives that he touched in a most profound way and the legacy that each left.  It put these readings into perspective for me and the purpose of our lives here in this transient world.  Both men had the prayer of St. Ignatius as reflected in the song These Alone are Enough.  I leave you with these powerful words. 

These Alone are Enough (Dan Schutte)
Take my heart, O Lord, take my hopes and dreams
Take my mind with all its plans and schemes
Give me nothing more than your love and grace
These alone, O God, are enough for me
Take my thoughts, O Lord, and my memory
Take my tears, my joys, my liberty
Give me nothing more than your love and grace
These alone, O God, are enough for me
I surrender, Lord, all I have and hold
I return to you your gifts untold
Give me nothing more than your love and grace
These alone, O God, are enough for me
When the darkness falls on my final days,
take the very breath that sang your praise
Give me nothing more than your love and grace
These alone, O God, are enough for me

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