She said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured."
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, "Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you."
Matthew 9

Creighton University Online Ministries
Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time: July 5-11, 2020

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The Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time

The Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time begins with a Sunday that offers pastoral comfort to us all. In the Zechariah reading, the Lord promises Israel, and us, a savior who “shall proclaim peace to the nations.” Matthew’s gospel points to Jesus as the source of that peace, as he affirms his identity as the Son of God. Jesus offers himself as a relief from the burdens of our days, promising “you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Saturday we celebrate the memorial of Saint Benedict.

The first readings this week are from the Book of the Prophet Hosea. Hosea was a powerful prophet to the northern kingdom, tender in expressing God's relationship to Israel in terms he knew. His "wife" was unfaithful to him, yet he still loved her. On Saturday, we begin reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, beginning with the call of Isaiah.

This week Matthew's Gospel shows us how Jesus calls his Apostles and how he sent them out on mission. Jesus heals an official's daughter, and along the way he heals the woman suffering hemorrhages. When he heals a mute man, the Pharisees accuse him of using evil powers to do this. Jesus continues to heal. He tells his disciples to pray for even more disciples. Jesus selects twelve special disciples, his Apostles (those who are sent), and gives them the power to heal and to proclaim, "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand." They are sent to "Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons." And they are not to charge for their ministry. They are to be discerning: "Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves." He tells them that they will be persecuted, "but whoever endures to the end will be saved." Jesus tells them to not be afraid for God will protect them.

The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time is about God’s fidelity. The promise of Isaiah 55 and Parable of the Sower from Matthew's Gospel remind us that no matter what obstacles we face as his disciples, as sowers of the Good News, God will work effectively through us. "But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirty fold."


Daily Prayer This Week

Last week as we reflected about images of Jesus beginning his ministry, we simply let ourselves grow in admiration and attraction to him. This week we take the next step by watching him call and send his Apostles. As we go through each day this week, in the background of our consciousness, we can make an ongoing reflection on our call and mission.

We might pray each morning, for just 30 seconds or so -- when we first stand up beside our bed or when we are in the shower or while dressing -- "Dear Lord, I sometimes forget that I am called by you to be your disciple. I forget that you call me each day to live the mission you give me. Help me be more aware of your call and more faithful in living it today."

We might begin the day talking to our Lord, with our own words: "Lord, I have some challenges to face today. Help me enter those challenges with faith and trust in you. Calm my fears, heal my resistance to placing my trust in you. Then, let me bring your healing to the conflicts and wounds I encounter today."

We might focus on what Jesus said about sending us like sheep among wolves. "Lord, there are so many ways that I have just become a part of the values of the world around me. Give me the freedom to hear your call today and to live it counter-culturally. I want to live more simply and to try to hear the cry of the poor. With your grace, I desire to be freer from the attachments that blind me, so that I might be guided by your Spirit in dismantling unjust social structures. Today, Lord, I place my trust in you."

In these simple prayers we find ourselves having a new focus each day. While continuing to be busy and doing what we are committed to doing, our days are transformed. In brief conversations with Jesus, our hearts and desires become more closely aligned with his. Practicing this kind of prayer is very fulfilling and soon becomes a habit. We become more reflective as we grow in intimacy with our Lord, in the midst of our daily lives.

As we review our day each evening before going to bed, we recognize God's presence with us that day. Expressing our gratitude each night clams the graces we have received and helps us trust God's presence with us more and more.

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