Reflection for Thursday, July 27, 2000: 16th week in Ordinary Time.
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As we enjoy our summer leisure, whatever form that takes for us, these readings present some powerful challenges for us.||In the first reading, the Lord speaks to Jeremiah (and to us) just as a seasoned lover might speak to his/her beloved, reminding us that in our youth, or certainly in the early days of our conversion, we showed great devotion and willingly followed wherever the Lord led us. But the reading points out to us that, as we have matured in our relationship to God, we have become busy about the wrong things and lost sight of our original single-hearted faith, choosing our own path instead of that which God has set for us.|The psalm response calls us back to God's unwavering faithfulness to loving us throughout the journey. But the gospel does not allow us to rest too long on that powerful covenant. We hear the voice of Jesus, through Matthew, speaking hard words, almost as if he really doesn't want those who are listening to understand his parables. If he is truly the loving son of our compassionate God, why would he even entertain such thoughts toward us?|Perhaps the lesson embedded here highlights the challenge of true faith. With true faith comes a certain amount of risk-taking, stretching, going beyond our comfort zones. Most of us seem very comfortable with following Christ as long as we can maintain our status quo or, at least, grow at our own rate. But maybe these readings are a wake-up call for us to let go of our own ideas and agendas and trust, as do young lovers, the direction in which the Beloved beckons us.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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