Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more
.”

-Luke 12

Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time
October 18 - 24, 2015

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Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

For the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time we hear the story from Mark’s Gospel about two of Jesus’ closest friends, James and John, who want seats of honor in “the Kingdom” they envision for Jesus. We can almost see Jesus shake his head in dismay that they have missed his point once again. He does not let his disciples get sidetracked into jealousy but calls them together again to give them his message: “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Monday we remember Jesuit Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs.

We continue with the second of four weeks of weekday readings from Paul’s Letter to the Romans. This is Paul’s longest letter and was written from Greece as he prepared to visit Rome.

Our gospels continue with Luke’s Gospel and multiple stories of Jesus exhorting us to be prepared, to beware of greed and that our “life does not consist of possessions.” Jesus’ mission is to bring peace and healing. We are to be prepared for the times our Lord comes to us. Much is expected of us who have been entrusted with so much. Jesus has come to set a fire among us, which will probably also place us at odds with others, even others we love. Yet, Jesus calls us to read the signs of our times and to make peace with our opponents if we can. We are being fertilized to bear fruit.

A vision of comfort and healing is offered for the Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time. In Jeremiah, we see the Lord gathering “his people” - the blind, the lame and the helpless innocents, bringing them together to console and guide them. In Mark’s Gospel, Bartimaeus, the blind beggar has the courage to beg for healing from Jesus. He is hushed by the crowd but continues to call loudly for Jesus, who hears him and heals him. “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”

 

Daily Prayer This Week:

Prayer of the Church: Collect for 29th Week in Ordinary Time

This is a terrific week to ask for the gift of freedom. Each day, when we focus ourselves in the morning, and throughout each busy day, we can keep asking God to help us, to give us what we need to become freer. There’s freedom “from” and freedom “for.” We can ask to be released from what has a hold on us. If we ask, we can trust that God will give us the grace to understand the habits and desires that hold us back from intimacy with God. We can ask to be more honest with ourselves about them, and to grow in a desire to discover what we would be like without them. We can pray to be free for whatever God desires of us. If we express our desire to be placed at the service of others and to be able to give our lives away more generously, we can trust that God will let Jesus set our hearts on fire.

The Word helps us each week. Sometimes, one phrase or one story will carry us for several days. Other weeks, we will have to look back at the readings to hear a reminder, an encouragement, a call. I might stay with the words, “give to God what is God’s.” On a given day it might be a great grace to realize all is gift, including the members of my family, the gifts I’ve been given to do my work, the graces offered me this very day. If I hear the words of Jesus, “life does not consist in possessions,” we might ask him to show me how this is meant for me this week. Perhaps I will imagine myself as that tree that isn’t bearing much fruit. Instead of cutting me down, our Lord is patient and willing to nourish me and cultivate me, so that I can bear fruit.

All week, we speak with our Lord, friend to friend, expressing whatever is in our hearts. No matter how busy we are, we will grow in gratitude as see how much Jesus can do with our open hearts.

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