September 30, 2013

St. Jerome

Luke 9: 46-50

An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest.But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side,and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.”John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.”But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Building the Kingdom Here and Now

Things are not always as they appear to be; even less are they as we think they ought to be. The disciples certainly discovered that truth during their interaction with Jesus in today’s scripture passage. Jesus’ followers are vying for the position of “most important.” If we enter into the scene, we can imagine each disciple listing off his credentials, his years with Jesus, perhaps even his family lineage. In the midst of the conversation, however, Jesus chimes in reminding them (for everything about Jesus has been saying it all along) that it is not the powerful, or the rich, or the intelligent who are the greatest. In fact, he chooses to align himself with those who represent the least social status in his time. “If you warmly receive a child,” he states, “you receive me and you receive God.” I’m sure it was not the resolution the disciples were expecting.

It is easy to sympathize with these followers. We too can get caught up in self-serving arguments— at work and at home—aimed at reassuring ourselves, and others, of our importance and worth. But when we do that, we run the risk of missing the truth that God is trying to reveal to us; namely, that he dwells with those the world has cast aside.

Today, Jesus cries out to us to warmly receive those in our society who lack status: the ex-con, the high school dropout, the immigrant, the poor. Receive these people into your life, he promises, and you receive me. Then, to push his point further, Jesus instructs John to embrace those who cast out demons, whether they are of his company or not.

Likewise, he calls us today to embrace those who work for peace, whether they are from the U.S. or Russia or anywhere else in the world. He calls us to embrace those who heal our broken world, no matter their religion. In short, he calls us to embrace all those who do their part in realizing the Kingdom of God here and now.

—Judy Henry McMullan earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She currently works as a Pastoral Care Minister at Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham, MA

Prayer

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Book of Common Prayer


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September 29, 2013

Luke 16: 19-31

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’

But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’

Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Indifference or … ?

Usually Jesus gives his parables a very short introduction. For example, one of
his longest parables, the Good Samaritan, gets to the point very quickly: A man was
going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. Today’s
parable, however, has a lengthy wind-up pitch.
Jesus wants to make sure we see the rich man and Lazarus very clearly in our mind’s eye.

He is trying to tug at our hearts; he wants us to feel compassion for Lazarus, even as he shows us clearly how the rich man (traditionally nicknamed “Divēs”) lived his life. And when Jesus points out that Lazarus spent his days begging at Divēs’ front door, I think he is hoping we feel a little shocked at the close proximity of two people we would normally view so differently.

It is clear that Jesus – at least Luke’s Jesus – believes the afterlife to be a place a
reversal (Woe to you who eat your fill now! You will be hungry!! Luke 6:25). Lazarus,
who lived in friendless torment, is now surrounded by love. Divēs, who on earth had
everything he wanted, now lives in hell. This is why Jesus, especially in Luke’s gospel,
emphasizes simplicity and repentance. If we can break our self-indulgent habits in this
life, then we will be welcome at a magnificent feast in the next.

If Divēs committed any sin, it was that of indifference to the tormented man lying
at his door. I remember in a previous job walking past a homeless man every day. The problems he had seemed far beyond anything I could help with, and so every day I walked right by him. Then one Lent I decided I would at least introduce myself and we started to chat a little every morning after that. I never gave him any money, but my chat with him became one of the bright points in my morning. My relationship with him helped me understand the problem of homelessness in my city, and helped me find ways I could actually help him and others.

As we read this week’s gospel, then, let us take up Jesus’ twofold challenge, first to live lives of humble simplicity, and second to overcome the temptation to indifference.

–Fr. Michael Simone, S.J. is beginning his ministry as instructor in Old Testament Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Prayer

Lord, give us the grace to embrace the truth that God is in every person’s life. Even if that life has been a disaster – destroyed by vices, drugs, or anything else. Help us to remember that although a person’s life is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. Above all increase our trust in this promise: While we can forget about you, your Spirit never, ever forgets about us.

America, adapted from an interview with Pope Francis, September 30, 2013


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September 28, 2013

Luke 9: 43b-45

And all were astounded at the greatness of God. While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, he said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

That Narrow Gate

This section of Luke’s gospel focuses on Jesus’ identity. Two days ago King Herod asks: “Who is this about whom I hear such things?” In yesterday’s gospel Peter declares Jesus to be the “Messias of God.” Today we read that “the Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” Luke then tells us that people did not understand this saying…and they were afraid to ask him about it.

Perhaps this last phrase offers a personal challenge: we hear lots about Jesus.We turn to him in prayer with all our needs. But what happens when the pinch of the cross confronts us? We don’t understand–did I do something wrong? Am I being punished? What do I do now? Perhaps this is the exact moment when we need to ask Jesus about this share in his cross. Could it be that Jesus offers this ‘cross moment’ as a way to experience the hope of his resurrection? So can I trust Jesus enough to follow him through this “narrow gate” (as Pope Francis calls it)?

           ——————-

An added note: next week Pope Francis has his first meetings with his new group of eight Cardinal advisors. They all go to Assisi on Friday Oct. 4 to pray for peace and celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Let us plan to support them with our prayers during these important days..

—the Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

Your Spirit, Lord, is fire: may it enkindle us with love. Come to us, Spirit of the Lord!
Your Spirit, Lord, is gentleness: may it bring us peace. Come to us, Spirit of the Lord!
Your Spirit, Lord renews the face of the earth: may it renew the depths of our hearts.
Come to us, Spirit of the Lord!

—Lucien Deiss


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September 27, 2013

St. Vincent de Paul

Luke 9: 18-22

Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.” He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Who do you say that I am?

“We must endeavor to have God reign sovereignly in us, and then in others. The trouble with me is that I take more care to have Him reign in others than in myself.” These words by the “Great Apostle of Charity” – St. Vincent de Paul, whose feast we celebrate today, are especially poignant when juxtaposed with today’s Gospel. Jesus asks the apostles what other people say about him, but more importantly he wants to know who the apostles think he is. Peter instinctively answers correctly that Jesus is the Christ; the Son of God; God incarnate.

As we read this passage we may recognize that a question was asked and answered – it’s good stuff, but time to move on, right? Not so fast. There is significant and immeasurable weight to Peter’s answer for those of us who have first answered the question that many people still struggle with today, “Does God exist?”

A universe with a Creator is a magnificent leap of human faith worthy of considerable existential reflection, but then we name the enfleshed Jesus as this very same entity and our notions of Creator take on ever more relational and intimate knowledge. The enormity and grandeur of this revelation should always give us pause and never escape us in our day. It is our saints, like St. Vincent de Paul, who help remind us by their lives of the responsibility we have to answer the question our Lord asks each and every one of us, “Who do you say that I am?”

St. Vincent de Paul, champion of the poor, helps us with what comes next: “Be acted upon rather than active. In this way, God will do through you alone what all men put together could not do without Him.”

—Richard Schuckman, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago

Prayer

Holy Vincent, patron of charitable works
and spiritual father of the abandoned, while on earth you extended a kind hand to the needy.
Through your merciful intercession, obtain help for the destitute, relief for the abandoned,
solace for the unfortunate and comfort for the sick. May your example of charity encourage all of us to work for the spiritual and material welfare of others. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

—The Vincentians


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September 26, 2013

Luke 9: 7-9

Now Herod the ruler heard about all that had taken place, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. Herod said, “John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he tried to see him.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Which Path Will I Choose?

If ever one can detect in scripture the “Two Standards” at war in an individual, it is in the occasional appearance of Herod Antipas, especially in today’s Gospel. Herod was ‘chip off the old block’, as the saying goes, a man driven by the intoxicating rush of power as was his father, Herod the Great. He does not trust Jesus, that ‘annoying’ threat who attracts followers by teaching the simple way of love.

We do not know whether Herod Antipas is the Herod ruling at the time of Jesus’ birth, but we do know he is the Herod of Jesus’ adult life. According to most biblical scholars, Herod Antipas is a lustful, jealous ruler who is ever on the alert against possible challengers to his throne, including his two brothers who rule states contiguous to his territory of Galilee and Perea. A painting of him in the Brooklyn Museum captures a bewildered look under a furrowed brow, a wide-eyed, fearful glare mixing curiosity with anger. One can detect the battle within, the standard of good being overtaken by the standard of evil.

It has always intrigued me that this slight pericope of Luke’s Gospel is inserted among miracles and missioning—almost out of place. Suddenly, in the midst of so much goodness, we hear of Herod wallowing in his distrust of Jesus. He is sulking between good and evil. This portends the murderous end of Jesus’ life.

Jesus is the standard-bearer of goodness for us. We do not have to stand on the pinnacle of power to face the Two Standards that St. Ignatius Loyola developed in the Spiritual Exercises: Acceptance of Jesus or Acceptance of Evil. We only have to desire to be true followers of Christ and learn to live simply and humbly without praise and adulation. These virtues, alone, submerge the power of evil and strengthen the power of good.

—Sr. Mary Ann Flannery, S.C. is Executive Director of Jesuit Retreat House, Cleveland OH.

Prayer

Lord, we pray for the grace to experience the “newness” of life in you. We want today to be different. We will pause and thank you for all the good gifts in our lives; we will ask your help with any problem we face; we will give permission to ourselves to do something we enjoy, something that betters our mental or physical health, and we will not allow negative people to suck out our joy. With profound gratitude, Lord, we place our life totally into your hands, and we know that your divine spark will deepen the significance of our day.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


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September 25, 2013

Luke 9: 1-6

Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Those Small Acts of Love

In today’s gospel Jesus sends the twelve out to proclaim the Kingdom of God. He gives them power over demons and disease. They must have been very popular as they delivered cures and cast out demons! These are no small things! What does this mean in the world today for you and me?

We are sent by Jesus to proclaim the Kingdom to all whom we meet, every person God puts in our lives today: family and friends, strangers and even foes. We have good news to share. The Kingdom is here and now. God is with us, creating us and loving us every moment of the day. As Saint Francis said, and Pope Francis so clearly does, “go forth and preach the good news; speak if you must.”

So we go into the world each day with our little ways of showing God’s love to the people we meet. These little ways seem all too small compared with the talk of curing disease and casting out demons that we hear in the gospel. Perhaps we underestimate the power of even seemingly small actions. I remember more than once when a small act or word from another made a big difference in my life. Keep in mind Mother Teresa’s wise counsel, “there is no such thing as a small act of love.”

—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits

Prayer

Lord, when those moments come when we feel insignificant, help us to remember who created us. You knew exactly which gifts we needed – and did not need – to build your kingdom. It’s so hard not to compare ourselves to others. When this temptation comes upon us, remind us that you compare us to no one else. And even the smallest act motivated by love is no small thing.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

 


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September 24, 2013

Luke 8: 19-21

Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.”But he said to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

We Are All Part of God’s Family

Growing up, my concept of family expanded beyond my wildest dreams. After our parents got divorced, my younger brother and I welcomed into our lives our stepmother and eventually two adopted, bi-racial siblings (a brother and a sister, not related to each other).

While each member of our family has a different experience and perspective, we share a basic belief that we are a family. We’ve learned that love is thicker than blood, and that all are welcome at our table.

Today we are shown that being a part of God’s family means going beyond the boundaries and norms of our time. Jesus doesn’t mean to disparage his mother or brothers who are waiting outside for him; he uses the occasion to teach us that his family includes anyone who answers God’s call.

Reflect on what it means to be part of God’s family. How might we go beyond our comfort zones to reach out to “the other.”

—Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for the Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life

Prayer

Lord, help us not to look past your “mother and brothers” today. Your family members may be disguised by status or affiliation, by their look and dress, by being up on their luck or down on their luck. One more thing – we will experience our day confident that you call us your “mothers and brothers.” Let these truths make all the difference in our attitude toward our work and our worries.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

 


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September 23, 2013

Luke 8: 16-18

No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Be A Light for the World

On this feast of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, popularly known as Padre Pio, Luke’s gospel is fitting: Those who hear God’s word must respond and become a light to others. Padre Pio is a superb example of one who responded to God’s word by dedicating himself to alleviating the suffering of others. In so doing, he lived as a light to others. The Franciscan Friar became famous for having the visible stigmata and was also known as a wonderful confessor and a holy priest. He lived a life of prayer, charity, and suffering.

One might think, “well if I had the stigmata like Padre Pio maybe I would be more willing to be vocal about my faith” or “if I were a priest it would be a lot easier to be a light to others.” But Jesus enjoins all his followers to live lives of holiness. Jesus directs us to listen closely to God’s word and to let our light of faith shine.

What stops me from sharing my faith with others?  Do my actions reflect my desire to be a light to others?

—Sharron Deax Hanisch earned an MA in theology from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She is the mother of four children and a teacher at the School of Lectio Divina, St. Joseph Monastery, Tulsa, OK

Prayer

Sometimes it is hard to comprehend that you have your hand on me so I can lend my hand to others. I know that no day is ordinary or pointless. Regardless of how it may appear, I am needed this day. I have a sacred mission to bring a little more hope, a little more kindness, and the awareness to others of their value and their distinct contributions in this day. Loving God, help us see the truth in the words of Saint Teresa of Avila:

Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


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September 22, 2013

Luke 16: 1-13

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’

So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’

And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.“

Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Generous Forgiveness

In the ancient world, few people owned all the tools necessary to accomplish their daily tasks. Instead, they rented tools from wealthier members of the community. People paid a share of whatever the tool helped them produce as rent. When a manager ran an estate for an absent landlord, as in today’s gospel reading, that manager received a portion of the rent as a commission for arranging the loan. Jesus called the manager in today’s gospel prudent because he freely sacrificed his short-term enrichment (even in the face of unemployment!) for the long-term security he hoped would come from his grateful borrowers.

In teaching us about the right use of possessions, Jesus is also teaching us about forgiveness. None of us created our own prosperity. All of us are dependent on gifts from God and the hard work of others. This is what the dishonest steward realized. His commissions, although legal, had nothing to do with his own labor; they were entirely dependent on his master’s wealth and his clients’ hard work. If he should forego such “dishonest wealth” now, he knew he would find treasure in the future. Had he clung to the pittance owed to him, he would have never found the security he desired.

Clinging to anything is dangerous business; when we cling, we rehearse a habit that can affect all parts of our life. People who are stingy with their wealth are often also stingy with forgiveness and generosity. We cannot serve both greed and God. We must choose to trust one or the other. Can we learn to trust God and forgive our debtors, so that in return God may trust us to transform the world through love?

Fr. Michael Simone, S.J. is beginning his ministry as instructor in Old Testament Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Prayer

Prayer for Managers

I want what you want, O Lord. By asking you for guidance, with complete faith and confidence that you are helping me, nothing that I am called upon to do becomes ‘too much’ or ‘too bothersome.’ Nor is there any room for worry. I will find it easy to ask you each day to be a partner in my work…to help me get things done…to weigh my actions and decisions in the light of ‘ is this right?’ ‘is this just?’ ‘is this doing your will?’

With your help I will make decisions better and faster, confident that you will not lead me astray. I will live my life each day knowing that it is your will I accomplish. Amen.

National Conference of Christian Employers and Managers


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September 21, 2013

St. Matthew, apostle and evangelist

Matthew 9: 9-13

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

“Follow me” TODAY!

The tax collector in the ancient world was a much-despised character. So we can imagine that Levi (the Jewish name given to Matthew in the other gospels) was not very popular with his neighbors…especially if he demanded a few extra shekels on the side as as the extra cost of  “doing business.”  Imagine the local surprise not only when Jesus approached Matthew and said “Follow me,” but then at the total confusion when Levi actually got up from his customs post and walked away with Jesus, welcoming the Lord to his house and table.

Upending expectations was a common practice for Jesus.  As he explains, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do…I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Where is that “sick place” in my own life that needs Jesus’ healing touch?  And how might I  find some measure of patience and forgiveness this weekend as I walk with a person I know (at home, at work, or down the street) who may be struggling to find strength to turn things around?  How can my quiet presence and healing words make a difference?
Isn’t this what “follow me” means in the concrete this Sept. 21, 2013?

-—The Jesuit Prayer Team

Prayer

Lord, while we may be able to conceal our wounded-ness even to those closet to us, you know exactly where we struggle. We pray for your healing so we can be freed of anything that holds us at a distance to those we love. We pray for your healing so we can share in the joy and peace you so much want for us. And, Lord, heighten our sensitivity and show us the best way to be present to others wounded in body or spirit.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


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September 30, 2013

St. Jerome

Luke 9: 46-50

An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest.But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side,and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.”John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.”But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Building the Kingdom Here and Now

Things are not always as they appear to be; even less are they as we think they ought to be. The disciples certainly discovered that truth during their interaction with Jesus in today’s scripture passage. Jesus’ followers are vying for the position of “most important.” If we enter into the scene, we can imagine each disciple listing off his credentials, his years with Jesus, perhaps even his family lineage. In the midst of the conversation, however, Jesus chimes in reminding them (for everything about Jesus has been saying it all along) that it is not the powerful, or the rich, or the intelligent who are the greatest. In fact, he chooses to align himself with those who represent the least social status in his time. “If you warmly receive a child,” he states, “you receive me and you receive God.” I’m sure it was not the resolution the disciples were expecting.

It is easy to sympathize with these followers. We too can get caught up in self-serving arguments— at work and at home—aimed at reassuring ourselves, and others, of our importance and worth. But when we do that, we run the risk of missing the truth that God is trying to reveal to us; namely, that he dwells with those the world has cast aside.

Today, Jesus cries out to us to warmly receive those in our society who lack status: the ex-con, the high school dropout, the immigrant, the poor. Receive these people into your life, he promises, and you receive me. Then, to push his point further, Jesus instructs John to embrace those who cast out demons, whether they are of his company or not.

Likewise, he calls us today to embrace those who work for peace, whether they are from the U.S. or Russia or anywhere else in the world. He calls us to embrace those who heal our broken world, no matter their religion. In short, he calls us to embrace all those who do their part in realizing the Kingdom of God here and now.

—Judy Henry McMullan earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She currently works as a Pastoral Care Minister at Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham, MA

Prayer

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Book of Common Prayer


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September 29, 2013

Luke 16: 19-31

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’

But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’

Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Indifference or … ?

Usually Jesus gives his parables a very short introduction. For example, one of
his longest parables, the Good Samaritan, gets to the point very quickly: A man was
going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. Today’s
parable, however, has a lengthy wind-up pitch.
Jesus wants to make sure we see the rich man and Lazarus very clearly in our mind’s eye.

He is trying to tug at our hearts; he wants us to feel compassion for Lazarus, even as he shows us clearly how the rich man (traditionally nicknamed “Divēs”) lived his life. And when Jesus points out that Lazarus spent his days begging at Divēs’ front door, I think he is hoping we feel a little shocked at the close proximity of two people we would normally view so differently.

It is clear that Jesus – at least Luke’s Jesus – believes the afterlife to be a place a
reversal (Woe to you who eat your fill now! You will be hungry!! Luke 6:25). Lazarus,
who lived in friendless torment, is now surrounded by love. Divēs, who on earth had
everything he wanted, now lives in hell. This is why Jesus, especially in Luke’s gospel,
emphasizes simplicity and repentance. If we can break our self-indulgent habits in this
life, then we will be welcome at a magnificent feast in the next.

If Divēs committed any sin, it was that of indifference to the tormented man lying
at his door. I remember in a previous job walking past a homeless man every day. The problems he had seemed far beyond anything I could help with, and so every day I walked right by him. Then one Lent I decided I would at least introduce myself and we started to chat a little every morning after that. I never gave him any money, but my chat with him became one of the bright points in my morning. My relationship with him helped me understand the problem of homelessness in my city, and helped me find ways I could actually help him and others.

As we read this week’s gospel, then, let us take up Jesus’ twofold challenge, first to live lives of humble simplicity, and second to overcome the temptation to indifference.

–Fr. Michael Simone, S.J. is beginning his ministry as instructor in Old Testament Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Prayer

Lord, give us the grace to embrace the truth that God is in every person’s life. Even if that life has been a disaster – destroyed by vices, drugs, or anything else. Help us to remember that although a person’s life is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. Above all increase our trust in this promise: While we can forget about you, your Spirit never, ever forgets about us.

America, adapted from an interview with Pope Francis, September 30, 2013


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September 28, 2013

Luke 9: 43b-45

And all were astounded at the greatness of God. While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, he said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

That Narrow Gate

This section of Luke’s gospel focuses on Jesus’ identity. Two days ago King Herod asks: “Who is this about whom I hear such things?” In yesterday’s gospel Peter declares Jesus to be the “Messias of God.” Today we read that “the Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” Luke then tells us that people did not understand this saying…and they were afraid to ask him about it.

Perhaps this last phrase offers a personal challenge: we hear lots about Jesus.We turn to him in prayer with all our needs. But what happens when the pinch of the cross confronts us? We don’t understand–did I do something wrong? Am I being punished? What do I do now? Perhaps this is the exact moment when we need to ask Jesus about this share in his cross. Could it be that Jesus offers this ‘cross moment’ as a way to experience the hope of his resurrection? So can I trust Jesus enough to follow him through this “narrow gate” (as Pope Francis calls it)?

           ——————-

An added note: next week Pope Francis has his first meetings with his new group of eight Cardinal advisors. They all go to Assisi on Friday Oct. 4 to pray for peace and celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Let us plan to support them with our prayers during these important days..

—the Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

Your Spirit, Lord, is fire: may it enkindle us with love. Come to us, Spirit of the Lord!
Your Spirit, Lord, is gentleness: may it bring us peace. Come to us, Spirit of the Lord!
Your Spirit, Lord renews the face of the earth: may it renew the depths of our hearts.
Come to us, Spirit of the Lord!

—Lucien Deiss


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September 27, 2013

St. Vincent de Paul

Luke 9: 18-22

Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.” He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Who do you say that I am?

“We must endeavor to have God reign sovereignly in us, and then in others. The trouble with me is that I take more care to have Him reign in others than in myself.” These words by the “Great Apostle of Charity” – St. Vincent de Paul, whose feast we celebrate today, are especially poignant when juxtaposed with today’s Gospel. Jesus asks the apostles what other people say about him, but more importantly he wants to know who the apostles think he is. Peter instinctively answers correctly that Jesus is the Christ; the Son of God; God incarnate.

As we read this passage we may recognize that a question was asked and answered – it’s good stuff, but time to move on, right? Not so fast. There is significant and immeasurable weight to Peter’s answer for those of us who have first answered the question that many people still struggle with today, “Does God exist?”

A universe with a Creator is a magnificent leap of human faith worthy of considerable existential reflection, but then we name the enfleshed Jesus as this very same entity and our notions of Creator take on ever more relational and intimate knowledge. The enormity and grandeur of this revelation should always give us pause and never escape us in our day. It is our saints, like St. Vincent de Paul, who help remind us by their lives of the responsibility we have to answer the question our Lord asks each and every one of us, “Who do you say that I am?”

St. Vincent de Paul, champion of the poor, helps us with what comes next: “Be acted upon rather than active. In this way, God will do through you alone what all men put together could not do without Him.”

—Richard Schuckman, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago

Prayer

Holy Vincent, patron of charitable works
and spiritual father of the abandoned, while on earth you extended a kind hand to the needy.
Through your merciful intercession, obtain help for the destitute, relief for the abandoned,
solace for the unfortunate and comfort for the sick. May your example of charity encourage all of us to work for the spiritual and material welfare of others. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

—The Vincentians


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September 26, 2013

Luke 9: 7-9

Now Herod the ruler heard about all that had taken place, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. Herod said, “John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he tried to see him.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Which Path Will I Choose?

If ever one can detect in scripture the “Two Standards” at war in an individual, it is in the occasional appearance of Herod Antipas, especially in today’s Gospel. Herod was ‘chip off the old block’, as the saying goes, a man driven by the intoxicating rush of power as was his father, Herod the Great. He does not trust Jesus, that ‘annoying’ threat who attracts followers by teaching the simple way of love.

We do not know whether Herod Antipas is the Herod ruling at the time of Jesus’ birth, but we do know he is the Herod of Jesus’ adult life. According to most biblical scholars, Herod Antipas is a lustful, jealous ruler who is ever on the alert against possible challengers to his throne, including his two brothers who rule states contiguous to his territory of Galilee and Perea. A painting of him in the Brooklyn Museum captures a bewildered look under a furrowed brow, a wide-eyed, fearful glare mixing curiosity with anger. One can detect the battle within, the standard of good being overtaken by the standard of evil.

It has always intrigued me that this slight pericope of Luke’s Gospel is inserted among miracles and missioning—almost out of place. Suddenly, in the midst of so much goodness, we hear of Herod wallowing in his distrust of Jesus. He is sulking between good and evil. This portends the murderous end of Jesus’ life.

Jesus is the standard-bearer of goodness for us. We do not have to stand on the pinnacle of power to face the Two Standards that St. Ignatius Loyola developed in the Spiritual Exercises: Acceptance of Jesus or Acceptance of Evil. We only have to desire to be true followers of Christ and learn to live simply and humbly without praise and adulation. These virtues, alone, submerge the power of evil and strengthen the power of good.

—Sr. Mary Ann Flannery, S.C. is Executive Director of Jesuit Retreat House, Cleveland OH.

Prayer

Lord, we pray for the grace to experience the “newness” of life in you. We want today to be different. We will pause and thank you for all the good gifts in our lives; we will ask your help with any problem we face; we will give permission to ourselves to do something we enjoy, something that betters our mental or physical health, and we will not allow negative people to suck out our joy. With profound gratitude, Lord, we place our life totally into your hands, and we know that your divine spark will deepen the significance of our day.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


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September 25, 2013

Luke 9: 1-6

Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Those Small Acts of Love

In today’s gospel Jesus sends the twelve out to proclaim the Kingdom of God. He gives them power over demons and disease. They must have been very popular as they delivered cures and cast out demons! These are no small things! What does this mean in the world today for you and me?

We are sent by Jesus to proclaim the Kingdom to all whom we meet, every person God puts in our lives today: family and friends, strangers and even foes. We have good news to share. The Kingdom is here and now. God is with us, creating us and loving us every moment of the day. As Saint Francis said, and Pope Francis so clearly does, “go forth and preach the good news; speak if you must.”

So we go into the world each day with our little ways of showing God’s love to the people we meet. These little ways seem all too small compared with the talk of curing disease and casting out demons that we hear in the gospel. Perhaps we underestimate the power of even seemingly small actions. I remember more than once when a small act or word from another made a big difference in my life. Keep in mind Mother Teresa’s wise counsel, “there is no such thing as a small act of love.”

—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits

Prayer

Lord, when those moments come when we feel insignificant, help us to remember who created us. You knew exactly which gifts we needed – and did not need – to build your kingdom. It’s so hard not to compare ourselves to others. When this temptation comes upon us, remind us that you compare us to no one else. And even the smallest act motivated by love is no small thing.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

 


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September 24, 2013

Luke 8: 19-21

Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.”But he said to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

We Are All Part of God’s Family

Growing up, my concept of family expanded beyond my wildest dreams. After our parents got divorced, my younger brother and I welcomed into our lives our stepmother and eventually two adopted, bi-racial siblings (a brother and a sister, not related to each other).

While each member of our family has a different experience and perspective, we share a basic belief that we are a family. We’ve learned that love is thicker than blood, and that all are welcome at our table.

Today we are shown that being a part of God’s family means going beyond the boundaries and norms of our time. Jesus doesn’t mean to disparage his mother or brothers who are waiting outside for him; he uses the occasion to teach us that his family includes anyone who answers God’s call.

Reflect on what it means to be part of God’s family. How might we go beyond our comfort zones to reach out to “the other.”

—Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for the Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life

Prayer

Lord, help us not to look past your “mother and brothers” today. Your family members may be disguised by status or affiliation, by their look and dress, by being up on their luck or down on their luck. One more thing – we will experience our day confident that you call us your “mothers and brothers.” Let these truths make all the difference in our attitude toward our work and our worries.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

 


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September 23, 2013

Luke 8: 16-18

No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Be A Light for the World

On this feast of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, popularly known as Padre Pio, Luke’s gospel is fitting: Those who hear God’s word must respond and become a light to others. Padre Pio is a superb example of one who responded to God’s word by dedicating himself to alleviating the suffering of others. In so doing, he lived as a light to others. The Franciscan Friar became famous for having the visible stigmata and was also known as a wonderful confessor and a holy priest. He lived a life of prayer, charity, and suffering.

One might think, “well if I had the stigmata like Padre Pio maybe I would be more willing to be vocal about my faith” or “if I were a priest it would be a lot easier to be a light to others.” But Jesus enjoins all his followers to live lives of holiness. Jesus directs us to listen closely to God’s word and to let our light of faith shine.

What stops me from sharing my faith with others?  Do my actions reflect my desire to be a light to others?

—Sharron Deax Hanisch earned an MA in theology from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She is the mother of four children and a teacher at the School of Lectio Divina, St. Joseph Monastery, Tulsa, OK

Prayer

Sometimes it is hard to comprehend that you have your hand on me so I can lend my hand to others. I know that no day is ordinary or pointless. Regardless of how it may appear, I am needed this day. I have a sacred mission to bring a little more hope, a little more kindness, and the awareness to others of their value and their distinct contributions in this day. Loving God, help us see the truth in the words of Saint Teresa of Avila:

Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


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September 22, 2013

Luke 16: 1-13

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’

So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’

And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.“

Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Generous Forgiveness

In the ancient world, few people owned all the tools necessary to accomplish their daily tasks. Instead, they rented tools from wealthier members of the community. People paid a share of whatever the tool helped them produce as rent. When a manager ran an estate for an absent landlord, as in today’s gospel reading, that manager received a portion of the rent as a commission for arranging the loan. Jesus called the manager in today’s gospel prudent because he freely sacrificed his short-term enrichment (even in the face of unemployment!) for the long-term security he hoped would come from his grateful borrowers.

In teaching us about the right use of possessions, Jesus is also teaching us about forgiveness. None of us created our own prosperity. All of us are dependent on gifts from God and the hard work of others. This is what the dishonest steward realized. His commissions, although legal, had nothing to do with his own labor; they were entirely dependent on his master’s wealth and his clients’ hard work. If he should forego such “dishonest wealth” now, he knew he would find treasure in the future. Had he clung to the pittance owed to him, he would have never found the security he desired.

Clinging to anything is dangerous business; when we cling, we rehearse a habit that can affect all parts of our life. People who are stingy with their wealth are often also stingy with forgiveness and generosity. We cannot serve both greed and God. We must choose to trust one or the other. Can we learn to trust God and forgive our debtors, so that in return God may trust us to transform the world through love?

Fr. Michael Simone, S.J. is beginning his ministry as instructor in Old Testament Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Prayer

Prayer for Managers

I want what you want, O Lord. By asking you for guidance, with complete faith and confidence that you are helping me, nothing that I am called upon to do becomes ‘too much’ or ‘too bothersome.’ Nor is there any room for worry. I will find it easy to ask you each day to be a partner in my work…to help me get things done…to weigh my actions and decisions in the light of ‘ is this right?’ ‘is this just?’ ‘is this doing your will?’

With your help I will make decisions better and faster, confident that you will not lead me astray. I will live my life each day knowing that it is your will I accomplish. Amen.

National Conference of Christian Employers and Managers


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September 21, 2013

St. Matthew, apostle and evangelist

Matthew 9: 9-13

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

“Follow me” TODAY!

The tax collector in the ancient world was a much-despised character. So we can imagine that Levi (the Jewish name given to Matthew in the other gospels) was not very popular with his neighbors…especially if he demanded a few extra shekels on the side as as the extra cost of  “doing business.”  Imagine the local surprise not only when Jesus approached Matthew and said “Follow me,” but then at the total confusion when Levi actually got up from his customs post and walked away with Jesus, welcoming the Lord to his house and table.

Upending expectations was a common practice for Jesus.  As he explains, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do…I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Where is that “sick place” in my own life that needs Jesus’ healing touch?  And how might I  find some measure of patience and forgiveness this weekend as I walk with a person I know (at home, at work, or down the street) who may be struggling to find strength to turn things around?  How can my quiet presence and healing words make a difference?
Isn’t this what “follow me” means in the concrete this Sept. 21, 2013?

-—The Jesuit Prayer Team

Prayer

Lord, while we may be able to conceal our wounded-ness even to those closet to us, you know exactly where we struggle. We pray for your healing so we can be freed of anything that holds us at a distance to those we love. We pray for your healing so we can share in the joy and peace you so much want for us. And, Lord, heighten our sensitivity and show us the best way to be present to others wounded in body or spirit.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


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