pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay
no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have
done, without overlooking the others.
The Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Twenty-Eighth Week of Ordinary Time: October 12 - 18, 2014
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Twenty-Eighth Week of Ordinary Time
In the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time we hear the story from Matthew about the King who gave a banquet for his son and invited many guests. It is a powerful story about rejecting Jesus' own invitation and about God's universal invitation to a new group of “chosen” people.
Wednesday is the Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church, known with great affection as Teresa of Avila. Friday is the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr and Saturday we celebrate the Feast of Saint Luke, Evangelist.
This week we end our look at the Letter to the Galatians and begin two weeks of Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. The letters emphasize the universal church and the unity of this church that brings together Gentiles and Jews.
In Luke's Gospel this week, Jesus seems frustrated that some of the people won't listen to him. When a Pharisee invited Jesus for dinner, the fellow was shocked that Jesus didn't do the required ritual washing of his hands. Jesus uses this as an opportunity to talk about real purity. He recommends they give money to the poor and tells the Pharisees, “You impose on people burdens hard to carry,” As Jesus continues to challenge the Pharisees, they hatch a plot to get rid of him. Jesus tells his disciples to beware of the “leaven” or “hypocrisy” of the Pharisees. “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.” Jesus wants us to acknowledge him, in the face of persecution. Even when we sin, we simply can't give up on the work of the Spirit among us. It is the Spirit who will guide us in what to say or do.
On the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time we see Matthew's gospel tell us of the Pharisee plot to set a trap for Jesus. This time they use politics to see if he will offend either Rome or the people. Should they pay Rome's census tax? Jesus pushes the challenge back to them: “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” What is it they must repay to God that is God's? Their trust in Jesus -- God's gift to them.
Daily Prayer This Week - Prayer of the Church: Collect for this Week
Each of us is being called by Jesus in a very real way. Our God who loves us so immensely has a personal care for each one of us and cares about who we are. We are being called to a life of faith, a life of joy, although it will not always be an easy life.
Whether or not we have a clear picture of where we are being called by Jesus, we can feel the invitation, the call to our hearts, in the silence. We can take just a few minutes each morning as we awaken to sit by the side of the bed and open our hands and hearts and pray, “Jesus, in this quiet moment, I feel my heart being drawn to you. Help me to see this day where you are calling me.”
We can repeat this small act on our way to work, taking our children to school and walking to the store. “I know you are in my heart, Jesus. I know you are calling me this day, but my heart is not always open to listen. Help me to answer your call today. At the end of this day, help me to be joyful in answering your call through those in my life.”
So many of the stories this week are clashes between Jesus and the Pharisees. We can ask ourselves: Where in my life do I worry more about appearances than I do the poor who are in front of me? Who are “the poor” in my life? Who are the outcasts, the unpopular or the rejected people I see each day? How can I minister to those people and be a leaven in this world?
the end of each day this week, we can be grateful for the many opportunities
we were given to follow along with Jesus. We can ask the Holy Spirit
to help us see the invitation in our lives every day and ask for the
clarity to recognize “the poor.” When I see the poor, the
outcasts, those whose health or habits make them unappealing, do I love
them the way Jesus would? Can I look at the brusque and rude people
in my life as people Jesus would have gravitated toward, sensing how
much they need love?
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