Reflection for Tuesday, October 21, 2021: 29th Week of Ordinary Time.

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Sr. Candice Tucci OSF
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|OK, Jesus. Where did all this come from? All this talk about division! Are you walking our streets, sitting in Congress, getting vaccinated, working on debt ceilings, protesting racial injustice, addressing voter rights, in Afghanistan, in our churches, in our homes, in our schools and clinics, hospitals? Where are you? Behind a mask? What are you saying? What are you doing? Forgive me as I am only human speaking in human ways! (Romans) But what is going on!|Reflecting on today's readings, Jesus says he brings division. Something we do not want to hear. His message was so radical that it did bring anger, protests, the storming of the Temple, conflict with local authorities of Scribes, Pharisees, Zealots, and other revolutionary groups let alone the Roman Government. What side of the arguments were families taking? How can a message of love, light, healing, peace, and life eternal be so challenging, innovative, avant-garde, threatening or unwanted?  It seemed from other Gospel narratives his immediate family could not understand his behaviors. Did they know his message would lead to the Cross?|He is like a tree,|   planted near running water.|That yields its fruit in due season,|   and whose leaves never fade.|   Whatever he does, prospers (Psalm 1)|Unfortunately, vaccinations were not being handed out in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, but his healing on the Sabbath caused all kinds of consternation. Especially when he healed the lepers! As Paul's letter to the Romans points out, the Gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus offered the outcasts of his society, life, health, and a future of hope. He did up-turn and rattle the status quo!|To follow Jesus, to do the right thing, to live in right relationships, to basically do good and avoid evil is the mission of Jesus. Blessed is the one who follows not the counsel of the wicked…but delights in the law of the LORD. We are to choose LIFE, NOT DEATH, for the wages of sin is death. Jesus challenged the Law and introduced a new one, to Love God, your neighbor as yourself. If we follow this new law of Love, and Life, it seems divisions happen.|But our hope conquers fear, while others choose to live in fear and ignore what Jesus has to offer. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord!|So, Jesus, there you are creating the healing serum, giving the vaccinations, receiving the vaccinations, voting in Congress for life-giving choices, challenging bad laws, at the bedside of those dying of diseases, speaking out against injustices, building the city's infrastructure, and mailing in a ballot! There you are promoting life, life everlasting and others just don't get it!|Jesus, here I am, and at least some of us that you created are getting it and doing our best! May we be people of Hope. Help us to heal the divisions! Give us the courage to be your voice, a voice of Love, Life, Light, Justice and Peace. Show us how to cast out fear, falsehoods and instill truth and trust. And yes, please give us the grace and all we need to do this and to face the consequences! The Lord watches over the just.|Finally, Jesus, send your Spirit again and again, so hearts may turn toward you, heal what is broken and renew the face of this earth.  AMEN
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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