are you who are poor,
Creighton University Online Ministries
Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Twenty-Third Week of Ordinary Time: Sept. 6-12, 2020
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The Twenty-Third Week of Ordinary Time
This Sunday is the Twenty-Third week in Ordinary Time. As faithful followers, we are encouraged to “love one another” throughout the readings. Ezekiel tells us that we are responsible for each other and Paul’s letter to the Romans offers: “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another.” In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to challenge each other on our behavior and to pray, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Tuesday is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary with its own special readings. Wednesday is the Memorial of Saint Peter Claver.
In our first reading, we continue with Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, an intimate look at the struggles of an early Church community.
In Luke's Gospel this week we see how Jesus spends a night in prayer and calls his twelve closest followers. When people come to him from all over, he heals them. Jesus announces that the poor, the hungry, those who weep, and those hated or excluded or denounced because of him are the blessed. He warns those who are rich, filled, laughing and spoken well of, for their fates will be reversed. He cautions not to be quick to see the splinter in someone else's eye when we do not notice the "wooden beam" in our own eyes. Jesus says that we will be known by our fruit. It is only by building our lives upon him, as a firm foundation, can we hope to survive crises.
Next Sunday is the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Sirach asks, "Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself, can he seek pardon for his own sins?" Jesus talks about mercy in the gospel. He tells the parable of the unforgiving servant. It's a powerful message for us.
Daily Prayer This Week
This week's daily communion with our Lord can be about the mysteries of self-sacrifice and healing. In the back of our minds each day, we can celebrate Mary's birth and her role in the life of Jesus, the early church and in our lives now. We can reflect on how blessed care for those in need is for us and how impoverished we are without that care in our lives.
If we begin each morning by praying a desire, the rest will follow for the day. "Good morning, Lord. Thank you for this day. Help me today to bring to you the parts of myself that need your healing. Be with me as I face the poverty, hunger or tears of this day." We can go into this prayer, in more depth or detail while we are in the shower or getting dressed. If we let these desires make their way into the background of our day, we can focus our consciousness no matter what we are doing.
Even in activities that require "our full consciousness" and attention, it is possible to shape that consciousness in the context of our desires. For example, I might be in an important meeting, that doesn't allow me to go day dreaming. But, I can walk into that meeting room saying in my heart, "Okay, Lord, be with me here. While I'm so tempted to be seen as a 'success' here, heal all of that focus on myself and free me to do my best and to be attentive to the needs of others. Let me focus on you and your desires for the greater good here."
Especially when we are facing something that is quite difficult, requiring real self-sacrifice and genuine love, we can let our background conversation with the Lord release us from our "typical" response or behavior.
"Lord, I can be so judgmental! Help me in this day not to condemn others so quickly. Let me remember your words to forgive and remember how you will forgive me. Sign me with your cross today. Let Mary, the mother of all self-surrender be with me today. Thank you. Give me your love and your grace and I'll ask for nothing more."
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