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Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Twenty-fifth Week of Ordinary Time: Sept. 18-24, 2022
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Twenty-fifth Week of Ordinary Time
On the Twenty-fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time Jesus tells the parable of the unjust steward who finds out he's been caught squandering his master's property, and goes out and makes deals to make friends for the future. Jesus acknowledges his prudence and calls us to have, at the very least, prudence about our future. “If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?”
Tuesday is the Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs. Wedneday is the Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist,with its own special readings. Friday is the Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), Priest.
In Luke's Gospel this week, Jesus shares his wisdom with the crowds he addresses. We must share the light that has been entrusted to us, not hide it. The tables will be turned on those who try to greedily hold on to what they have. When people report that Jesus' family is looking for him, he uses the occasion to highlight the nature of our relationship with him: “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” When Jesus sends the Twelve to heal and to proclaim the Kingdom, he tells them to serve, trusting in God: “Take nothing for the journey.” Herod hears about the new prophet and wonders who it is - he has already beheaded John the Baptist. Jesus asks his disciples who they think he is. Peter replies for them all, “The Christ of God.” When Jesus tells his disciples that he will be handed over to others, they can't possibly understand until another day. They were afraid to ask Jesus about this.
The story of the rich man and Lazarus is the focus of the Luke's Gospel on the Twenty-sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time. This is a classic story of how the tables are turned in the afterlife. The rich man has it good in this life and ignores the plight of poor Lazarus. In the afterlife, it is the rich man who is in torment and Lazarus is the one who is enjoying heaven. The double irony comes when the rich man asks that Lazarus be sent to warn his brothers. Jesus responds: “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.” Will we listen to the one who has risen from the dead?
Daily Prayer This Week
Every day of every week, we have the precious opportunity to get to know Jesus more intimately and to become more attracted to him, with the result that we grow in a desire to be with him more and to be more like him. Few of us have the wonderful opportunity to follow the special vocation of becoming contemplatives, but we can be more contemplative in our everyday lives. This can happen for us, not by “leaving the world” but by letting our Lord have a place in our very busy daily world. If we keep developing the habit of being contemplatives in the midst of our days, we will indeed be blessed to find intimacy with God in our everyday lives. It doesn't take more time. It just takes focus.
From the first few moments of our day, and in very brief conscious moments throughout the day, we can speak with our Lord. We can notice what is going on in within us - our fears, our fatigue, our joys and our sorrows - and tell our Lord what we are feeling and ask for the graces we need.
This week, we can be conscious of the invitation not to hide our gifts but to share them -- and we can ask God to help us not fill our lives with secrets. On another day, we might find ourselves doing what the Lord has asked us to do, but tempted out of our fear and anxiety to “take too much with us,” in the sense of not really trusting that our Lord will give us what we need for the journey. This would be a great day for some “friend to friend” conversation with our Lord, before the challenge, in moments during it, and after it is completed, expressing our gratitude.
We can grow in freedom by not being afraid to ask our Lord about anything. The answer surprisingly comes in our own inner peace and trust. By Sunday we can find ourselves judging others less, and more freely and consciously choosing to turn away from occasions of sin.
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