“Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
The Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time: October 26 - November 1, 2014
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Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time
Justice and compassion are keys to loving, in the readings for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Exodus proclaims God's call that we act justly toward foreigners, and the most vulnerable among us: widows, orphans and the poor. Jesus says it most simply: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. ...You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Tuesday is the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles, with its own special readings. Saturday is the Solemnity of All Saints, a joyful day to remember all of the men and women who have gone before us in life and are now in heaven.
The Gospel of Luke offers a glimpse of Jesus healing and teaching the people, even as he continues to clash with religious leaders. He cures the “bent woman” on a Sabbath and tells of the tiny mustard seed which develops to become a full grown bush. He repeats that it will not be easy to enter the Kingdom: “For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” He defies those who bring word of threats on his life and defies the silent Pharisees who watch as he cures a man on the Sabbath. Jesus encourages us to be humble: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time is replaced this year by the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, also known as All Souls. The first reading from the Book of Wisdom tells us, “The souls of the just are in the hand of God.” Psalm 23 offers us this response: “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” From the Letter to the Romans, “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts.” John's Gospel offers us more hope: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”
Daily Prayer This Week - Prayer of the Church: Collect for this Week
Please, Lord, anything but humility! Our instinctive reaction to humility might be the result of a culture that exalts riches, honors and pride. Yet all this week Jesus teaches that the way to salvation is through humility.
The first step might be simply asking for the desire to be humble. As we move through the simplest of moments in our everyday lives, we can stop and ask God to help us want to be humble. As we sit on the edge of the bed in the morning, as we head to work, sort laundry or do our errands, we can keep a running prayer in the background of our consciousness: “Lord, help me to desire the humility that will make me more aware of your saving grace.”
These same background moments offer ways for us to recognize opportunities to practice humility as we go through our days. Perhaps I can stop myself from correcting my spouse. In a disagreement, I might make an extra effort to listen to the other person's side rather than planning my rebuttal as they speak. I can let a person in line in front of me, hold the door for someone or make an extra effort to recognize and thank those who serve me. Here in the US, it is the season of politics and elections. Maybe I can even admit that I may not fully understand the opinions of others and that there may be some legitimate points to them. Even these tiny gestures, when done in the spirit of Jesus' teachings this week, offer us a special grace.
All week we can continue to speak to the Lord as we would to a loving friend who listens to us. And always, we can end our day in gratitude, for the merciful God who loves us so compassionately and longs to be in our hearts.
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