For where your treasure is,
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Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time: June 14-20, 2020
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The Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time
Sunday is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ - in the U.S. It is the great feast in which we celebrate the gift of the Eucharist, but also the special blessing our the presence of our Lord with us in the Blessed Sacrament. In Gospel, Jesus offers the most consoling good news: "Whoever eats this bread will live forever." The rest of the world celebrates the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus missions his disciples to go out into the world: "Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” It is a message for us as Jesus tells us "The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few" and calls us to join him in his work.
The first readings this week continue our readings from 1 Kings and into 2 Kings. It follows Elijah and Elisha - powerful prophet and agents of God's word for the people.
We continue Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's Gospel. Jesus calls us beyond simply being moral. His message is not an "eye for an eye," but turning the other cheek, loving our enemies and praying for them. Jesus warns us about performing good deeds for others to see. He teaches us to pray simply, because our Father knows what we need. Where our treasure is, there our heart will be. We can't serve several masters in life, so we can stop worrying so much and place our trust in God alone. "But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides."
"Jesus said,' Fear no one.'" On the Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time we can be consoled as Jesus tells us we don't have to fear anyone. God will take care of us, so we can be courageous in proclaiming this Good News to others. Jesus tells us in Matthew's Gospel, "Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
Daily Prayer This Week
There is nothing like the Sermon on the Mount to help us hear the message of Jesus, and to let ourselves be addressed by those words. All of us can ask for these graces with real specificity, that is, with real people and real daily circumstances in mind. We know with whom we need to "turn the other cheek" and to love more. We know the circumstances in which we are tempted to "be religious" in the right circumstances only. Upon reflection, each of us can take the time to "locate" our hearts, by discovering what we tend to "treasure." We can check ourselves out by making a list of the five most important things in my life. Then we can make a list of the five things I spend most of my time on. Comparing the lists will help us get concrete about asking the Lord for the grace we need to put our lives back in balance, if we aren't. All of us can name what we worry about. And so we can all ask for the graces to "seek first" the Kingdom of God
All of this reflection can happen throughout the week in the background of our daily life, if we get into the habit of focusing for a few moments each morning. If we take just 30 seconds, at the edge of our bed each morning, it will begin to establish a habit of living more reflectively.
Our version of a brief moment with the Lord - friend to friend - can be repeated and made more specific, while we are going about our day. Some days, we might have 20 such moments of prayerful conversation with our Lord - guided by the Word, the desires that are surfacing, and the events of our daily lives. And, each night, we can give thanks for this deeper relationship with the Lord that is developing in my heart.
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