Reflection for Monday, July 4, 2022: 14th Week of Ordinary Time.
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|The gospel writer, Matthew, offers us a brief snapshot of two individuals who encounter Jesus. An official's daughter's life is restored, and a woman suffering for many years is healed. Both come to Jesus with an expectation that he will act generously upon their requests, implying they know something about his ministry. They trust that He will restore what is most important to them by performing "big miracles." What Matthew does not share is what happens next. Does the official and woman become followers of Jesus? Do they offer compensation or another type of support for his ministry? How are their lives changed, and what might be the outward signs that attest to the impact of Jesus' unconditional love and compassion for them? |Reflecting on this reading, I want to believe that I will be a different person if Jesus restores my child's life or heals me of an incurable illness. Out of gratitude for such "big miracles," the busyness of day-to-day living will no longer consume me. Instead, I will focus on sharing the "good news," being generous with anyone in need, and accepting and loving everyone I encounter.|In reality, God's "big miracles" happen every day and everywhere in everyone's life. God's over-flowing generosity for humanity begins with the creation story, is proclaimed by the Psalmist (The Lord is good to all and compassionate to all His works, Ps. 145: 9) and brought to fullness in the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Big miracles are in a beautiful sunrise, songbirds greeting the day, rain, and the ordinariness of living. All these, and so many more that go unseen and unacknowledged, are expressions of God's love – daily "big miracles."|St. Ignatius teaches us that gratitude is the foundation of the spiritual life, a life for God and others. God's grace keeps my world safe and provides what I need to live fully and grow my relationship with God. I should not wait until I experience what I consider a "big miracle" before I begin thanking God for all I am and have – the daily miracles that I sometimes overlook. |The stories of the official and woman are important to Matthew's audience, perhaps not because they are unique but because they are examples of how God acts with overflowing generosity and love for His creation. Matthew may have left out what comes next to free us to imagine how life is changed once we encounter Jesus and recognize that the Lord is gracious and merciful (Ps 145:8).
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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