“Which of these three, in your opinion,
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Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
On the Twenty-seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time the readings speak of marriage and partnership. In the Book of Genesis, Adam does not find a suitable partner until the Lord creates woman. Psalm 128 praises the Lord who blesses home and family. In Mark's Gospel the Pharisees test Jesus asking if it is lawful for a husband to divorce his wife. The question is meant to be a trap for Jesus but he repeats the scripture in Genesis. The gospel ends with Jesus urging us to be like children were in that society - unimportant and with no status. “The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Then he embraced and blessed the children.
Monday is the Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi. Thursday is the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.
The first readings this week offer again a sampling of several different Old Testament sources including the reluctant prophet, Jonah; then Malachi (“But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays ”); and Joel, (“Then shall you know that I, the LORD, am your God, dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain; Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall pass through her no more.”)
Luke's Gospel continues during the weekdays with some of our most familiar and beloved stories. The Good Samaritan teaches us about loving. In the Mary and Martha story, Jesus nudges his dear friend Martha to calm her spirit and choose carefully what she spends time on. Luke offers a look at Jesus praying alone before sharing his prayer with us. With the story of the friend banging on the door in the night, Jesus encourages us to “ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” When his opponents try to confuse the people about Jesus' authority, he says, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” We end the week with Jesus emphasizing his relationship with the Father as being stronger than earthly relationships.
The powerful story of the rich young man will be repeated in the gospel in the Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time. He asks Jesus what he can do to inherit eternal life and already keeps the commandments. Jesus offers him the challenge of the gospel: “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor ... then come, follow me.” Mark's gospel tells us that the young man “went away sad, for he had many possessions.” When Jesus tells his followers how hard it will be for a rich person to be saved they are astonished - and worried. They wondered how they could ever be saved. “All things are possible for God,” was Jesus' response.
Daily Prayer This Week
Jesus is so full of surprises. This week, we can let his surprising ways interact with our daily lives. All of us, in some ways, tend to want to trap - or at least intensely resist - the prophets who call us to conversion. We are all asking our Lord to tell us what we need to do to have eternal life. We might all know the ways we don't like his answer. The invitation to love our neighbor, the way the lowly Samaritan did, can be a revealing question for us this week. Who is the neighbor or stranger or enemy whom I'm called to help, care for their wounds, and provide for their recovery? Or, we can reflect upon whether we are too busy, and not focused enough on what really matters - spending some time just listening to Jesus. Perhaps, we have some desire, need, struggle that we very much want to turn to the Lord with. This could be the week we ask, seek and knock - persistently and confidently. All week, we can ask for the grace to be “with” Jesus and to “gather” with him, perhaps especially alert to ways we are “against” Jesus or “scatter” in different things we do or attitudes we take.
All it takes for us busy people is a little focus. We will get into the habit of beginning each day by bringing our attention to these strong desires with practice. At first, it may work best to rely on a line from one of these Guides - letting it be our expression of what we need and returning to it consciously throughout the day.
With practice, we will grow in comfort with naming our own desires more precisely. For example, I might already be more like Mary than Martha. I might want to be asking our Lord, “Help me keep listening to you, Lord, throughout this day.” It may be that I haven't said the Rosary with devotion in years. This may be a week to rediscover that powerful prayer, a decade at time, throughout the day, reflecting much more deliberately on the traditional mysteries or the reflections of this week.
Every night, we can all express our thanks to the Lord for the faithful way we are being invited to a closer relationship, in the midst of our busy, daily lives.
Lord, bless this week to allow me to be drawn closer ot you - a better neighbor, choosing the better part, learning to pray to you insistently, being with you in every way I can. Help me put my complete trust in you.
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