Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time: Oct. 20 - 26, 2013

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. Luke 12
Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time|For the Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time, through the parable of the persistent widow wearing down the unjust judge, Jesus urges us to have faith. "Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them?"|We continue with the second of four weeks of weekday readings from Paul"s Letter to the Romans. This is Paul"s longest letter and was written from Greece as he prepared to visit Rome.|Our gospels continue with Luke"s Gospel and multiple stories of Jesus exhorting us to be prepared, to beware of greed and that our "life does not consist of possessions." Jesus" mission is to bring peace and healing. We are to be prepared for the times our Lord comes to us. Much is expected of us who have been entrusted with so much. Jesus has come to set a fire among us, which will probably also place us at odds with others, even others we love. Yet, Jesus calls us to read the signs of our times and to make peace with our opponents if we can. We are being fertilized to bear fruit.|On the Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time we have Jesus' dramatic story of the Pharisee and the tax collector standing in the temple, the Pharisee relieved that "I am not like the rest of humanity" and the tax collector with eyes down, begging for mercy. "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
Daily Prayer This Week|This is a terrific week to ask for the gift of freedom. Each day, when we focus ourselves in the morning, and throughout each busy day, we can keep asking God to help us, to give us what we need to become freer. There"s freedom "from" and freedom "for." We can ask to be released from what has a hold on us. If we ask, we can trust that God will give us the grace to understand the habits and desires that hold us back from intimacy with God. We can ask to be more honest with ourselves about them, and to grow in a desire to discover what we would be like without them. We can pray to be free for whatever God desires of us. If we express our desire to be placed at the service of others and to be able to give our lives away more generously, we can trust that God will let Jesus set our hearts on fire.|The Word helps us each week. Sometimes, one phrase or one story will carry us for several days. Other weeks, we will have to look back at the readings to hear a reminder, an encouragement, a call. I might stay with the words, "give to God what is God"s." On a given day it might be a great grace to realize all is gift, including the members of my family, the gifts I"ve been given to do my work, the graces offered me this very day. If I hear the words of Jesus, "life does not consist in possessions," we might ask him to show me how this is meant for me this week. Perhaps I will imagine myself as that tree that isn"t bearing much fruit. Instead of cutting me down, our Lord is patient and willing to nourish me and cultivate me, so that I can bear fruit.|All week, we speak with our Lord, friend to friend, expressing whatever is in our hearts. No matter how busy we are, we will grow in gratitude as see how much Jesus can do with our open hearts.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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