Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.
Luke 12

Creighton University Online Ministries
Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time: Oct. 18-24, 2020

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The Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

On the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time we see Matthew's gospel tell us of the Pharisee plot to set a trap for Jesus. This time they use politics to see if he will offend either Rome or the people. Should they pay Rome's census tax? Jesus pushes the challenge back to them: "Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." What is it they must repay to God that is God's? Their trust in Jesus, God's gift to them.

Monday is the Memorial of the North American Jesuit Martyrs, Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions.

Paul's Letter to the Ephesians speaks about God's mercy and grace, calling us "members of the household of God" and saying that as a community we "are being built together into a dwelling place" of the Spirit. Paul, who was probably a prisoner at the time he wrote this letter, urges us to live "in a manner worthy of the call you have received" and calling us to patience and humility.

This week in Luke's Gospel we hear Jesus giving us his challenging message: be prepared for the coming of the Kingdom, be unemcumbered enough to follow Jesus freely. When a rich man builds a place to store his surplus, God says, "‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you." Jesus tells us to "be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks." Our faith and calling as Christians means we are called to go beyond what our world and culture requires: "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Jesus envisions his mission on earth as a purifying fire, "and how I wish it were already blazing!" He tells us, "If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way." The weekday gospels end with the parable of the gardner who saves the barren fig tree from being cut down, saying to his owner ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;
it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’”

Justice and compassion are keys to loving, in the readings for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Ezekiel proclaims God's call that we act justly toward foreigners, and the most vulnerable among us: widows, orphans and the poor. Jesus says it most simply: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. ...You shall love your neighbor as yourself."


Daily Prayer This Week

As Jesus continues to head toward Jerusalem in this week’s readings, it can be easy to pray if we can focus. For simple thoughts and feelings to make their way into the background of our reflections this week we have to make a conscious choice to do it. Once we choose to let ourselves be reflective in this way, we can let this week’s readings into our consciousness.

It becomes real when I realize that I am on the road with Jesus to Jerusalem in my life. I can sense the resistance in me to face all that it means. I resist the call to greatness that Jesus offers – to be a servant for others. Greed can take a serious role in my life – unconscious, of course, but once I experience how many things I “want,” I’ll sense the role of greed within me.

I see the potential for my fruitfully connecting with my Lord throughout this busy week when I hear the call to be “vigilant” and to be aware of the “signs” of times today. Some days we can begin our days like getting on a treadmill and going all day. If I’m only attentive to what is immediately in front of me, I start to lose perspective. With reflection, I can see the “big picture” again and why I’m here and for whom I am responsible. Sometimes I’ll have the courage not to be a “peace at all costs” person, but will actually take steps, say things, come together with others to “set the earth on fire.”

Finally, perhaps this week I can simply get back in touch with being “called” and respond in a dozen simple ways, to thank the Lord for calling me and asking for the grace to be faithful.

We can prepare for Sunday later this week by remembering the words that Jesus tells us - Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Dear Lord, sometimes I can be so dense. Thanks so much for getting through to me now and again. When I “get it,” it seems that I want to be your disciple with every ounce of being within me. I really get the “fire” image you use. At other times, all I see is my needs and the ways I seem to be unfulfilled or falling short in some way. Release me from myself, that I might be free to give myself to my brothers and sisters who need my love and care. Then, I’ll follow you into the toughest of situations with courage and hope.

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