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Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many people followed him, and he cured them all, but he warned them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet: Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, I ask you to show me how to embrace your Word with a humble heart. Help me to grow in my awareness of being here for a greater purpose than just my own gain. Mold and secure my heart in a true humility that listens to your voice, follows your command, and is open to your healing grace.
- Closed Minds: When he was a baby during the reign of Herod, powerful people had been out to destroy Jesus. In this Gospel, it was the Pharisees, in their persistent arrogance and self-sufficiency, that perceived him as a threat. They had become more firmly fixed on judging as they pleased, despising and dominating others, as they began to plot our Lord’s death. Their pride inhibited any humble curiosity or ability to recognize their Savior. We are either with him or against him. Let us ask for the grace to adopt an attitude of humble awe that seeks to obey Our Lord and King.
- Open Healing: Jesus communicates and reveals the heart of God the Father. As soon as his enemies began plotting his death, Jesus quietly removed himself from the public eye, not out of fear or anger but to focus on the purpose for which he had come. Full of gentleness and compassion, he went about healing and quietly instructing his disciples about his Kingdom. Rather than engaging in futile clashes with his enemies, he prepared the foundation of the Church by guiding the faithful in hope, forgiveness, and truth. Let’s consider the opportunities where we can imitate Our Lord as instruments of healing rather than division.
- Suffering Servant: Each day Jesus urges us to take up our cross and follow him on the path of total love of God the Father and of humanity: “…he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt 10:38-39). We all suffer and have the opportunity to patiently tolerate some kind of hurt, injustice, or misunderstanding. Our strength to face suffering comes from a deep and intimate union with Christ. It is a gift of grace that enables us, out of love, to give our life for Christ and for the Church, hence for the world. To each one of us has been entrusted a mission that we can accept freely, to be a servant of God with the task of serving.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, you call me to serve. I am a sinner who falls many times. Thank you for putting up with me, forgiving my selfishness and arrogance. Show me where you are leading me along the path of spiritual maturity, the path of selfless service. Jesus, you were a faithful servant, whose vocation was to serve even to the point of death on the Cross. Lord, I pray for the grace to persevere as your humble servant.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace, I will take an extra moment at the end of the day to make a thorough examination of conscience to acknowledge where I need to be more attentive to serving those around me with a humble heart.
For Further Reflection: Delve deeper by reflecting upon the words of the Prayer of Saint Francis.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Written by Lucy Honner, CRC.
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