September 27, 2023
by Mary Lee Brock
Creighton University's Heider College of Business Department of Management
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
Lectionary: 451

Ezra 9:5-9
Tobit 13:2, 3-4a, 4befghn, 7-8
Luke 9:1-6

Praying Ordinary Time

About St.Vincent de Paul from Saint of the Day

What If I Have Trouble Getting Better?

Here on the Creighton campus we do a lot of work with the Gallup Strength Finders which is grounded in positive psychology and can help individuals and teams be more effective by using their talents and being their authentic selves.  Appreciating my strengths is integral to my spirituality as I am so grateful for the gifts God has given me and I pray for the grace to use those gifts in the service of others.

My strength of Connectedness came to mind as I prayed with today’s Gospel from Luke.  We are all connected and part of a larger picture.   I was immediately drawn into an imaginative, contemplative prayer as I experienced the gospel scene of Jesus summoning the disciples.  The sounds and the dust and the smells of the surroundings were vivid.  I could hear Jesus talking to me and my fellow disciples.   As one of the disciples I felt energized by the charge from Jesus to go proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.  Rather than feeling anxiety about bringing nothing for my journey, I felt a sense of confidence in the spirit of hospitality and generosity of those I would encounter.  The opportunity to be called to connect with others in proclaiming the good news was energizing.  What an adventure!

Jesus gives guidance to the disciples about people who reject God’s invitation:  And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them. This has always resonated with me.  Perhaps as this ties to another Gallup strength of Woo, winning others over, which is not one even close to being one of my top strengths.  After patiently trying several approaches and carefully listening to the other’s objection or indifference, I can move on.  This can become quite complicated as we live our faith in daily life. 

I pray for the grace to responsibility live in the tension of meeting people where they are while inviting them to live the good news.  And I pray for the grace to have the courage to “shake the dust from my feet” when I am called by God to do so.  And I will responsibly play to my strengths.

Mary Lee wrote this reflection on these readings in 2017.

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