Reflection for Wednesday, October 20, 2010: 29th week in Ordinary Time.

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Jorgensen, Diane
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With all the waiting we do, one would think we would be good at it, that is, that we would more frequently bring a serene spirit, a peaceful heart and a quiet mind to the task of waiting. We have so much experience with it ... .we wait for the weather to cool off or warm up, we wait in lines for groceries and gas, we wait for the light to turn green and for the end of the day or the end of the week so we can relax and play. But, we are hardly ever in the present moment, waiting patiently, enjoying this breath; this moment of life. More often we are anxious and restless, eager for the time "when", rushing headlong toward ... . well, what exactly?||Today's gospel is hard to hear - severe punishment for those "who knew the master's will and yet did not act in accordance with it," especially for those who are given the gift of faith and are in a position to serve and influence others. It's easy for us to dismiss this notion of God ... as one who is just waiting for us to slip up and misbehave so we can be caught off guard, and then lose our "reward" or worse, receive "punishment. We are tempted to say there is nothing here that can apply to us. These passages, and others in the chapter, reflect Luke's understanding of the "end time" and Jesus' return. I imagine that so many years after Jesus' death, people were growing tired of waiting for his return, and losing their enthusiasm for living fully the Christian life. Jesus exhorts his followers to depend on God, not to count on material wealth, and to be always ready and watchful. Is Luke, in the parables and teachings of Jesus, addressing that impatience and subsequent apathy about living in the Kingdom? Were they, like us, wanting more tangible gratifications of their faithfulness? More immediate results to motivate their continued faithfulness? Perhaps they were asking, "Why should we be faithful, and act like good stewards, when Jesus isn't here yet? It seems like I have plenty of time, I'll clean up my act later." Luke is encouraging them, especially the leaders among them, and us, to live NOW the way we will want to be found by Jesus when he comes ... faithful, trusting, as if the Kingdom has already come, because, in a sense, it has.|The first reading reminds us of this - Paul writes that he was given a grace to preach, "to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things, so that the manifold wisdom of God might NOW be made known". Daily, we "draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation." We have been given the gift of faith to live the kingdom NOW and transform this world; our faith is not a set of rules to navigate, a strategy to "win" the game.|Am I faithful to living - and acting - God's dream for us now, even while waiting for fulfillment of God's dream for us?
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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