September 10, 2015
by Nancy Shirley
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 440

Colossians 3:12-17
Psalm 150:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6
Luke 6:27-38

Praying Ordinary Time

The readings for today, both from the New Testament emphasis God’s love for us and His forgiveness while charging us with the responsibility to do the same.  Even the alleluia speaks of loving one another while the psalm urges us to praise God in all ways.

In the first reading, Paul is encouraging the people to show both compassion and gratitude. He points out that we as chosen ones who are so loved by God have an obligation to pass this love and compassion on to others.  It means we must forgive just as the Lord as forgiven us.  In the Lord’s Prayer we ask that we be forgiven our trespasses as we forgive others. The forgiveness is not just for us to receive but for us to give as well.  I think about how readily I ask to be forgiven and then how I can hold a resentment against others for their actions against me.  How can I expect mercy and compassion if I am not willing to give it as freely as I expect it?  I love that St. Paul proclaims: 

And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I am reminded of the motto of the Jesuits to do everything for the greater glory of God.  If I can keep this in mind, then my actions and my words will ring true.  I sometimes have to ask myself about my motives for doing things especially when my feelings are hurt for being ignored while others are complimented.  Am I doing these things to serve God?  Did I serve God with these actions?  If I can answer yes to these questions, then I should be satisfied.  While I may be stung temporarily by the slight or carelessness of others, I can refocus on the true purpose of my actions and remind myself that my Father knows my name and what I am doing.  It is not about me, rather about serving Him and serving Him with love and gratitude!

The responsorial psalms echoes Paul’s words about

singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.

If we love one another,
God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

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