October 26, 2020
by Mary Lee Brock
Creighton University's Graduate School
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 479

Ephesians 4:32-5:8
Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
Luke 13:10-17

Praying Ordinary Time

Here in the Midwest as the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler, I have prepared my yard for winter and now turn my attention to projects inside my home.  Learning about home upkeep is interesting to me, and I am lucky to have a friend who is willing to teach and advise me about the right course of action.  In fact, Al is such a touchstone for me I have joked that my home repair guideline is WWAD… What Would Al Do? This acronym is based on the popular bracelets WWJD…What Would Jesus Do?

WWJD comes to mind as I read today’s first reading from Ephesians.  The reading is filled with specific guidance on how to live life as a good and honorable person.  We are called to be kind and compassionate.  Rather than engage in silly or suggestive talk, we should offer thanksgiving.  Immorality, impurity or greed should be nowhere to be found.  The refrain from today’s Psalm supports this wise counsel:  Behave like God as his very dear children.  These simple instructions are also profound.

Today’s Gospel from Luke presents a meaningful contrast to the message from the first reading.  Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on a sabbath and healed a woman who had been crippled for 18 years.  Her faith in Jesus set her free from her physical challenges and pain.  Rather than rejoicing for the woman, the leader of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus would choose to cure on the sabbath.

The feelings the gospel stirred in me left me wondering how many times I behave in a judgmental and condemning fashion exhibited by the synagogue leader.  It is easy to agree to the clear instructions to live life as a good and honorable person, but it can be very difficult to put these values into action when we feel scared, challenged, threatened or depleted.

I ask God for the grace to turn away from the temptation of greed, idolatry and gossip.  I pray for the gift of compassion, especially for those for whom I do not easily respond to with compassion.  Knowing that God wants me to use my gifts in service to others, I ask God to help me know how I can best companion others.

With God’s grace I now have new letters to live by:  WWID:  What Will I Do?

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