So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.
The Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Twenty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time: September 14 - 20, 2014
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Twenty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time
For the Twenty-Fourth week in Ordinary Time, instead of the regular readings, we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. John's gospel offers us the powerful words of Jesus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
Monday is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, with its own special readings. Tuesday is the Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs. Saturday is the Memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs.
In our first reading, Paul's wonderful First Letter to the Corinthians continues to feed us with powerful messages about good community behavior, the Eucharist and the mystery of the Resurrection.
We experience more of the beauty of Luke's Gospel this week. Jesus heals the slave of a Roman officer, praising the officer's faith. He encounters a widow whose only son had died. “He was moved with pity” and raises the son from the dead. Jesus tells the people how inconsistent their responses are. At a dinner, Jesus encounters a weeping, sinful woman who washes his feet with her tears. “So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love.” We hear that Jesus is accompanied by a group of women “who provided for them out of their resources.” Jesus tells the parable of the sower to a large crowd of listeners. and breaks it open for his disciples.
For the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time we receive the powerful parable about the landlord who represents God's way of caring for us. Though workers go out into his vineyard at various times of the day, he pays them all the same. When they grumble, he simply explains that he desires to be generous. How this can change our view of God and our own sense of justice?
Daily Prayer This Week - Prayer of the Church: Collect for this Week
This is a good week to imagine how much we are like Jesus' disciples. We clearly want to be his follower, and we do follow him. The humbling reality is that we are inconsistent. At the very time that Jesus is telling us that he wants us to find ourselves by losing ourselves, we are too often being competitive and trying to be on top somehow. Fortunately, he keeps telling us about the real meaning of discipleship. Paul lays it all out in this week's first readings. The parable of the sower is quite helpful this week. How healthy and rich is the soil of our own souls? Can we feel the longing we have to make our hearts more receptive to the message of Jesus?
Each morning, as soon as we can after waking up, perhaps associated with some automatic behavior like putting on slippers or a robe or getting a cup of coffee, we begin the day in the presence of our Lord. We can get into the habit of greeting our Lord, “Good morning, Lord. Thank you for this day.” Even if we didn't have a good night's sleep and we are waking up fairly tired, this habit can part of our routine. Naming our desire for the day can become the way we begin our day with the Lord. Repeating it, with more details, as we encounter the people and responsibilities of our day, will deepen our relationship with the Lord. Brief “prayers” (which are really just conversations) sustain the connection all day.
In one circumstance this week, I might say, “Lord, here I am being that very hard ground. Please get through to me in the part of me that is still 'receptive soil.'” Another day, I might catch myself trying to make myself look good and I can say, “Dear Jesus, your reminder helps me right here. Let me be a servant in this situation, with these people - forgiving, listening, compassion and freer.” Sometime this week we might encounter someone who needs us to be like Jesus - healing something that is broken, or even deadly and we can say, “Lord, let me do your will, imitate your faith in God here. Thank you for being with me.”
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