Reflection for Tuesday, May 29, 2018: 8th Week of Ordinary Time.
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"Be holy because I am holy." If ever there was a statement that was easier said than done, this one might be at the top of the list. Especially when you consider that it was said by Jesus. Talk about a role model without equal. He is it.|Fortunately, the first reading contains some pearls of wisdom for us all to live by, in the hope that our souls might be saved. As one would expect, some of the tenets are similar to ones our parents and grandparents shared with us as we grew up – to live soberly, not let ignorance rule our decisions, think clearly, and exercise caution. But two lines from the reading may have deeper meaning for us and for the salvation of our souls: "It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves, but you," and "Set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you."|If we are to call ourselves Christians, then we must act like one. Serving others is at the very core of our faith, and we are dutifully reminded that our service to others is for the glory of God, not to make us feel good because we did a good deed. Be it visiting the elderly in a nursing home, helping in food kitchens, taking the time to get to know our neighbors, or sorting clothes donated to a shelter, our time spent in service is not something we should brag about to family and friends. Rather, remember that we are doing this for God's children, and through our service to others we are helping to fulfill the church's commitment to social justice.|But even when we fall short in following the wisdom laid out in the reading, and our record of service to others is minimal at best, do not despair. Despite our constant failings, the one line to focus on and remember is "set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you."|According to some biblical scholars, the meaning of the word "grace" evolved from the Old Testament to the New Testament. In the Old Testament it was God's grace that delivered his people from their enemies, ended famines and other adversities and guided their daily lives. However, in the New Testament, God's grace takes on a much different meaning. With the death of his Son on the cross, God's grace is now equated with his love for us that has no limits and is the greatest blessing we will ever have. God's grace is the key to our salvation, despite all our failings.|As we do our daily Exam of Conscience, we can think deeply about our relationship with God and the steps we can take to improve it. Likewise, we can think deeply about our relationships with our family, co-workers and neighbors and again, how our positive interactions with them are serving God.|But we take heart, for as much as we all will stumble, God's grace is unfailing and will be there for us always, even until the ends of the earth.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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