Jesus said to his disciples:
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Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Tenth Week of Ordinary Time: June 5-11, 2022
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Tenth Week of Ordinary Time
Sunday is the great feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. The readings and the whole Church celebrate the coming and ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit among us. The Apostles who had been so frightened are now on fire. Now they can speak clearly, so everyone can understand them. In John's Gospel, Jesus breathes on his jittery followers and tells them, “Peace be with you” and fills them with courage, giving them the mission to forgive and sending them to carry out his desire that we all be one.
Monday is the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. Saturday is the Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle.
During the week, we begin a three week period of looking at the Books of Kings. Elijah follows the Lord's direction and changes the hearts of many. The week ends as Elijah calls Elisha into service for the Lord.
This week we begin reading the Gospel According to Matthew, starting with the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is the new Moses, and offers us a new and radical teaching. It begins by his telling a small group of followers that they are blessed - not because they have their acts together, but because they are spiritually poor, meek, those desiring justice, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers and the persecuted. Salt and light explain who they are as disciples. They are to obey the law and prophets which Jesus came to fulfill. Whereas the law forbad killing, Jesus calls his disciples to be reconcilers. The law forbad adultery, but Jesus warns about lust and whatever is an occasion for sinning. The law forbad taking false oaths, but Jesus calls his disciples to a deeper fidelity and integrity.
On the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time in Luke's Gospel we hear of the Pharisees who criticize Jesus for allowing a sinful woman to wash his feet. He tells them of two debtors who are forgiven. “Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
Daily Prayer This Week
This week we celebrate the Feast of the Pentecost. We remember that a group of the first disciples were caught in fear, even after the Resurrection. But, with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, they are set free, set on fire with courage and the Spirit of Jesus and the Father. It can help us let the Spirit renew us and fill us with new life, giving us hope and empowering us to serve others with a new boldness.
Having celebrated the gift of the Holy Spirit on Sunday, we are ready to enter this week to explore the depth of that love and the powerful call each of us is given to love one another. The Sermon on the Mount can help us be contemplatives in action this week. The Beatitudes are not eight new commandments. Rather, Jesus saw those following him and saw their weakness and their need, their goodness and their desire, even the cost they pay to follow him. He looked at them and called them “Blessed.”
This year we celebrate Mary as the Mother of the Church and we can ask Mary to place us, individually and as a church, with her Son and with his own heart.
Let us all begin this week letting Jesus look at us and call us blessed. Each morning we can practice choosing to focus our attention on some way we are spiritually poor or desiring justice, some way we are merciful or a peace maker, some way we might be experiencing the cost of being a believer, and simply asking our Lord to convince us of our blessedness there. It is likely that each of us, every day, can be attentive to some aspect of our daily lives, some part of our relationships or responsibilities, that place us right there in a place for Jesus to tell us that we will be comforted, satisfied, blessed beyond our imagining.
Some day this week, each of us will have the opportunity to be the salt that makes relationships, faithful living, have its flavor. We will have our chances to be light in the midst of the darkness that crosses our paths. We can ask Jesus those days - whether in the morning, or in brief background moments during the day - to have us not lose our flavor or to cover our light. And, all of us will face the greater responsibility of a disciple of Jesus, to avoid anger and find the path to reconciliation, to turn from lust and greed and to love genuinely and honestly.
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