November 18, 2021
by Carol Zuegner
Creighton University Department of Journalism, Media, and Computing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 500

Maccabees 2:15-29
Psalm 50:1b-2, 5-6, 14-15
Luke 19:41-44
Praying Ordinary Time Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Sometimes things are just hard. Praying. Worshiping. Doing the right thing.

In the first reading, Mattathais won’t bend to the wishes of the king and the officers of the king, who want he and the other Jewish people to abandon their ways and submit to the ways of the king. Mattathais is a leader, an influencer, and he refuses despite offers of riches and wealth. Overcome with “just fury,” he kills a person who does abandon the ways of the people. And then he kills the king’s officer and flees to the desert. What can I learn from that? I can learn that my faith will require sacrifices. Luckily for me, the challenges are not so grave. Can I do the right thing when called upon? Can I stand up for those who are in need? Can I lend a hand to the lonely or troubled person in my own life, knowing that help requires my time and energy?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and what lies ahead. Do we know now what makes for peace? Jesus gives us many signposts: Love your neighbor as yourself. Turn the other cheek. Do the right thing. Today’s readings are hard because we come up against the realities of a world that doesn’t always embrace the Gospel and Jesus’ message. Sometimes it’s a world that makes it difficult for us to embrace these messages. But I can find ways in my life to do the right thing, small ways and large ways. I can remember that it’s not always easy, but the rewards are great. I can start by doing what I can to make my small corner of the world better, to realize that my faith is not only prayer, but action. Even when it’s hard.

My prayer for today comes from the alleluia: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart."  May my heart and spirit be open to the word and the love of God.

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