September 28, 2022
by Angela Maynard
Creighton University - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 457

Job 9:1-12, 14-16
Psalm 88:10bc-11, 12-13, 14-15
Luke 9:57-62

Praying Ordinary Time

A Matter of the Heart: Prayer as Relationship

Today’s gospel reminds us of the cost involved in following Jesus.  We learn that somebody said to Jesus “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus gives an interesting response: "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."  Think about this.  Jesus shares with an eager fellow that his path is not an easy one.  You see, he is doing without a basic human need — no guarantee for shelter each night.  Jesus was traveling about teaching, and some might describe him as experiencing homelessness.  He was entirely dependent on the goodwill of others who may be willing to provide a meal and a place to rest.  Nothing was guaranteed.

Jesus extends an invitation to “Follow me.”  The disciple candidates have some things to do first.  Some urgent things.  Recall in the Jewish tradition, prompt burial and funeral ceremony was a serious matter. The importance of family was paramount. 

Jesus’ task at hand is even more urgent, consuming and can be difficult. He sternly reminds the candidates of this.

For today, consider times that Jesus is asking something that seems to be too demanding, or stressful.  What does one do when faced with this type of situation? 

Recently, I faced this situation and it drove me to my knees.  I found myself praying for guidance nearly continually — especially through sleepless nights.  I wasn’t getting the answer that I wanted.  God was continually dropping signs that he wasn’t quite finished with me — I literally heard a voice telling me "I know this is so hard for you, but I’m not finished with you.  My people need you!" I cannot express the challenges that came with my assignment. Looking back, I reflect on many lessons learned during this difficult time.  Mostly, I’m grateful for the people Jesus planted around me to love and support me during some very dark days.  People who I previously took for granted.  There were days where my faith was shaken terribly.  Ultimately this experience strengthened me and provided me additional tools to use as I serve an often-forgotten group of God’s people.  I’m not quite to the point where I can say I’m grateful for a very tough experience — I may get there.

For now, I find comfort in knowing that things weren’t easy for Jesus either.  I can say that God is good and watches over us — even when it may not feel like it.  For this I am grateful today.

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