“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you havx`e revealed them to the childlike.”
The Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Twenty-Sixth Week of Ordinary Time: September 28 - October 4, 2014
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Twenty-Sixth Week of Ordinary Time
On the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time we hear Paul exhorting the Philippians, “Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus,” offering us a powerful image of Jesus' humble, self-less service. In Matthew's Gospel Jesus offers a story about two sons, one who agrees to work in the vineyard but doesn't; the other who tells his father he will not work but then quietly goes to work. It is a story that challenges the chief priests and elders of the people, “Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.”
Monday is the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels; Tuesday the Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church; Wednesday the Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, also knows as Thérèse of Lisieux. Thursday we celebrate the Memorial of the Guardian Angels and Saturday we remember the beloved Saint Francis of Assisi.
For the first few days of the week, our first reading offers a look at the Book of Job. We witness his despair and his faithfulness in his most trying times and end with his praise of God's glory.
We continue reading Luke’s Gospel, as the disciples argue about who is the greatest. Jesus points out a young child and asks them to strive to be the “least” not the greatest. Jesus stops his disciples from preventing people, not of their group, from healing, because they are with Jesus, too. He stops the disciples from “calling down fire from heaven” on the Samaritan people who didn't give them a good reception. People come up, offering to follow Jesus, but have excuses for why they can't do it now. Jesus calls them to not “look back” once they have said, “yes.” He sends his disciples to other towns: “The harvest is rich but the workers are few.” Jesus warns the people blessed by the graces of his visits there, but who have not changed their ways. He prays, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”
A parable about tenants who were entrusted with their master's fields is at the center of the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. We hear Jesus really challenge the religious leaders with this story of the tenant farmers who refused to listen to the master's servants (the prophets) and abused and killed his son (Jesus) in an attempt to usurp his inheritance. Jesus tells them, “Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
Daily Prayer This Week - Prayer of the Church: Collect for this Week
A regular way of reporting some important news today is to cite the source: “according to a highly placed government official,” even when the source is anonymous. We give the story credibility if it seems to come from an authoritative source, deserving credibility. Jesus tells us clearly that the source of his message and his power is God, the Father, himself.
This week we can experience intimacy with God in the midst of our busy lives if we take brief moments throughout our day, every day, to let the connection between ourselves and God become conscious. We forget who we are. We get distracted by the world around us, even with things that are our duty, or commitment. To become more conscious of the presence of God with us in our busy days takes some practice. It is a matter of desire and choice. If we desire it, we will choose it. And, it takes a “method.”
This week we can wake each morning and let our first thoughts turn to our Lord and our relationship. “Good morning, Lord. Thank you for letting me be your disciple today. Help me to be connected with you throughout this day. With your love, help me to be freer and more grateful, in the midst of the anxiety and tension I experience today.” That takes less than 30 seconds to say. We might object, saying “I am so groggy when I wake up. How am I supposed to think this clearly immediately?” It just takes practice. The point isn't to focus on the words, but on the relationship that frames our day. Then, in the shower, while getting dressed, getting to work, and at a dozen in between times throughout the day and evening, we can re-connect consciously, in and ongoing conversation - 20 or 30 seconds at a time.
“Be with me in this next challenge, Lord. I often lose my temper here. I can get fairly impatient at this time. I get hooked and slip into judgment and anger. Stay with me and I will rely on your grace to be more patient, gentle and loving.” Or, walking down the hall to the restroom, I might say, in my heart, “Lord, it really helps me to remember that beyond my job description, I'm your disciple. Help me to listen to you. Help me sense I'm here to let your Kingdom enter the world here. Give me the help to bring healing and love in this place today.”
Try to take a brief few moments while getting ready for bed to recall the moments of connection and grace this day and give thanks.
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