October 30, 2020
by Eileen Wirth
Creighton University's Journalism Department - Emerita
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 483

Philippians 1:1-11
Psalm 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Luke 14:1-6

Praying Ordinary Time

“Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern,
would not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”  
But they were unable to answer his question.
- Luke 

In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ answer to criticism that he healed a man on the Sabbath is essentially, who wouldn’t do that? If it means a technical violation of the law, so what? The argument is so open and shut that Jesus’ critics had no answer. So, they remained silent.

But other than agreeing with Jesus that ICU workers shouldn’t walk off the job to observe the Sabbath, what’s there to say? High fives for our guy?

That said, there’s a good lesson for all of us about remaining silent when we have nothing to say. We can take this a step further and ponder the value of taking time to think before we speak or just remaining silent more often.

Our society seems to be allergic to silence. We flip on TV when we come into an empty room and listen to our play list or a podcast when we exercise. We seem to fear being alone. We need to remember how many times God fills the silence of those willing to be alone with him.

How can God talk to us if we’re constantly drowning in noise and distraction? Traditionally this is why people go on retreats, even one day events that give time to reflect and listen to the Spirit. However, in today’s conditions where we all seem to exist in virtual reality, we have to carve out our own interludes for silence and meditation.

If you are reading this, you’re already setting time aside for listening to God so you might try extending that period by just a few minutes – say 15 a day.  But there are lots of good options.

Somewhat to my surprise, I’ve discovered that saying the rosary is a great tool for reflection. As I repeat the Hail Mary’s in rote fashion, I ponder the message of the mysteries to my daily life and sort out the issues I’m dealing with. I also think of both the Blessed Virgin and my late mother and ask their help, very comforting.

Just try different approaches and figure out whatever works for you.

And as we salute Jesus for winning the little debate with the authorities in today’s Gospel, let’s take a few silent minutes to ponder the lesson about prioritizing love that he teaches here and throughout the New Testament.  We can’t do that if we’re talking all the time, even to God.

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