Reflection for Thursday, October 22, 2009: 29th week in Ordinary Time.

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Lanahan, Joan
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CHOOSE OR LOSE||"I have come to bring fire to the earth", Jesus says in Luke. Jesus, a man of great passion is inviting us to be a part of his life. We can choose to cooperate with God's passionate love for us and BE JESUS for ourselves and others. Or, we can choose to be deaf to Jesus' compassionate love. In learning to take care of ourselves, we can more easily reach out to others with healing hearts.|Some folks call themselves "born again Christians". Most of us need to hear that call of God: "you are my beloved ... " Over and over again. God keeps calling us to be God's friend, to do God's work, to live with Jesus. We live with Jesus as we live with ourselves.|You know the book, "Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good Folks?" In hard times, when life gets rough, it's harder to follow God. It is easier to blame someone else, have a deaf ear to God or pretend we are confused.|In the hard times and/or feeling harsh emotions, it's important to pray and work right there, right in the pain. It's only in being aware, listening and dealing with it that we can heal and move on. God is right with us as we are dealing with the suffering.|It is so much easier to close our eyes or ears or hearts to ourselves. That's NOT the fire of Jesus. That's not what Jesus did and it's not what Jesus asks of us.|Remember John Foley, S.J's song, "Come to the Water"? There is a line "why should you pay the price Except for the Lord?" This, to me is what "pick up your cross" means. In choosing to deal with our problems, often with the help of a good friend, or therapist, or spiritual director, we can "pick up your mat" as Jesus told the paralytic.|Healing happens as we choose to engage our life and death experiences with God's help. As we help ourselves, we can help others. When we don't engage our life experiences, we LOSE.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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