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August 2, 2013

Mt 13: 54-58

He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?

Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.

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

Prophets on their Home Turf

Today’s gospel reading marks a new section in Matthew in which Jesus begins the way of the Cross more explicitly and prepares his disciples to carry on after him. His rejection begins in his hometown!

Through his teaching in the synagogue, Jesus astounds the people. Rather than hearing his deeper meaning, however, the crowd focuses on the superficial and turns on Jesus. They wonder, How can the carpenter’s son, whose family we all know, be so full of wisdom and power?

Two phrases immediately come to mind: “You can’t go home again” and “familiarity breeds contempt.”

Jesus, one of their very own, had gone away and earned a reputation for building a kingdom of love and healing, yet even he acknowledges that “prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” Despite recognizing Jesus as special and the bearer of a mighty message, Jesus’ own people miss the sacred for the mundane and turn homeland into hostile territory. As a result, Jesus does not perform any great works because of the people’s unbelief.

St. Ignatius invites us to put ourselves into these scenes so that we can better understand the gospel message and ourselves.

Ask yourself, when have I written someone off because of what I know, or think I know, of him or her? How open am I to allowing God to communicate with me through others?

—Jeremy Langford, Director of Communications for the Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life ©2007 Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA.

—Jeremy Langford, Director of Communications for the Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life ©2007 Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA.

Prayer

Lord, how can it be that those who should most understand the experience and insight we bring to a challenge or opportunity can be the most dismissive? Give us the grace to persist for the good despite the lack of affirmation or encouragement. There are also times when we undervalue the contribution of another because of the person’s age or because of our familiarity with the individual. Lord, guide us to approach this day realizing that we must never decide in advance who will be your spokesperson.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

August 1, 2013

Matthew 13: 47-53

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.

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

Let Yourself Be Caught By God

Despite prior claims to the contrary, the Jesus who meets us in today’s Gospel certainly does not seem very meek or humble of heart. Words like “fiery furnace” and “wailing and grinding of teeth” not only sound jarring coming from the Good Shepherd; they can be hard to hear. These kinds of words make me wonder: does Jesus want me to feel afraid of him? Will he be angry if I don’t start sorting the good from the bad right now?

Noticing two things brings some clarity to such charged questions. First, Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of heaven here, and talking about it as a fishing net that catches all kinds of things, bad and good alike. In this analogy it’s Jesus who is the fisherman, and my own role is simple, to let myself be caught.

I don’t think he actually wants me to be afraid; no, I think he wants me to do just what the Israelites did in the first reading: remain settled where God’s glory is settled, let myself be gathered up by him. And second, I think it’s important to notice one key thing about who does the sorting of the good and bad things the heavenly net has caught, and that’s this: it is not us.

Our task is not to sort the bad or good (that’s reserved for “the angels,” thank God) but simply to be gathered together in his nets, trusting that if we have listened and acted on our deepest desires, on the cries our souls make for God in this life, then we will dwell in his courts both now and in the next.

—Fr. Patrick “Paddy” Gilger, SJ, was ordained on June 15, 2013, and is serving as Associate Pastor of St. John’s Parish, Creighton University, Omaha. Click here for an Ignatian News Network video on ordination featuring Fr. Gilger.

Prayer

Lord, help us to trust in the slow work of your Spirit.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.

Only you can say what this new spirit gradually forming within us will be. We trust that your hand is leading us, and we accept the anxiety of feeling ourselves in suspense and incomplete.

—Based on “Trust and Patient Prayer,” Teilhard de Chardin


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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August 2, 2013

Mt 13: 54-58

He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?

Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.

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

Prophets on their Home Turf

Today’s gospel reading marks a new section in Matthew in which Jesus begins the way of the Cross more explicitly and prepares his disciples to carry on after him. His rejection begins in his hometown!

Through his teaching in the synagogue, Jesus astounds the people. Rather than hearing his deeper meaning, however, the crowd focuses on the superficial and turns on Jesus. They wonder, How can the carpenter’s son, whose family we all know, be so full of wisdom and power?

Two phrases immediately come to mind: “You can’t go home again” and “familiarity breeds contempt.”

Jesus, one of their very own, had gone away and earned a reputation for building a kingdom of love and healing, yet even he acknowledges that “prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” Despite recognizing Jesus as special and the bearer of a mighty message, Jesus’ own people miss the sacred for the mundane and turn homeland into hostile territory. As a result, Jesus does not perform any great works because of the people’s unbelief.

St. Ignatius invites us to put ourselves into these scenes so that we can better understand the gospel message and ourselves.

Ask yourself, when have I written someone off because of what I know, or think I know, of him or her? How open am I to allowing God to communicate with me through others?

—Jeremy Langford, Director of Communications for the Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life ©2007 Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA.

—Jeremy Langford, Director of Communications for the Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life ©2007 Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA.

Prayer

Lord, how can it be that those who should most understand the experience and insight we bring to a challenge or opportunity can be the most dismissive? Give us the grace to persist for the good despite the lack of affirmation or encouragement. There are also times when we undervalue the contribution of another because of the person’s age or because of our familiarity with the individual. Lord, guide us to approach this day realizing that we must never decide in advance who will be your spokesperson.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

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Please share the Good Word with your friends!

August 1, 2013

Matthew 13: 47-53

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.

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

Let Yourself Be Caught By God

Despite prior claims to the contrary, the Jesus who meets us in today’s Gospel certainly does not seem very meek or humble of heart. Words like “fiery furnace” and “wailing and grinding of teeth” not only sound jarring coming from the Good Shepherd; they can be hard to hear. These kinds of words make me wonder: does Jesus want me to feel afraid of him? Will he be angry if I don’t start sorting the good from the bad right now?

Noticing two things brings some clarity to such charged questions. First, Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of heaven here, and talking about it as a fishing net that catches all kinds of things, bad and good alike. In this analogy it’s Jesus who is the fisherman, and my own role is simple, to let myself be caught.

I don’t think he actually wants me to be afraid; no, I think he wants me to do just what the Israelites did in the first reading: remain settled where God’s glory is settled, let myself be gathered up by him. And second, I think it’s important to notice one key thing about who does the sorting of the good and bad things the heavenly net has caught, and that’s this: it is not us.

Our task is not to sort the bad or good (that’s reserved for “the angels,” thank God) but simply to be gathered together in his nets, trusting that if we have listened and acted on our deepest desires, on the cries our souls make for God in this life, then we will dwell in his courts both now and in the next.

—Fr. Patrick “Paddy” Gilger, SJ, was ordained on June 15, 2013, and is serving as Associate Pastor of St. John’s Parish, Creighton University, Omaha. Click here for an Ignatian News Network video on ordination featuring Fr. Gilger.

Prayer

Lord, help us to trust in the slow work of your Spirit.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.

Only you can say what this new spirit gradually forming within us will be. We trust that your hand is leading us, and we accept the anxiety of feeling ourselves in suspense and incomplete.

—Based on “Trust and Patient Prayer,” Teilhard de Chardin

[likebtn identifier=7246 item_url ="http://prayla.goramblers.org/august-1-2013/" theme="gray" dislike_enabled="0" ]
Please share the Good Word with your friends!