Reflection for Saturday, August 14, 2010: 19th week in Ordinary Time.

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Cherney, Mike
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Today's first reading takes me in the direction of considering when am I responsible and when does God react. This consideration of responsibility is reinforced by the events that took place nine years ago today. That evening I went to Mass in anticipation of the Feast of the Assumption. That evening my mother went into the hospital with complications from surgery that she had undergone two weeks earlier. She had asked not to be kept alive by artificial means. While I was at Mass the call came from the hospital to let me know about the severity of her condition and to ask if they should let her go. I was not at home and I had my cell phone shut off. The next call and the ultimate question went to my sister. I always considered my missing this call a gift. I knew what my mother had said she wanted, but I was grateful not to take the responsibly here. (I would not escape this responsibly this year when my father-in-law was taken off life support.)||The first reading specifically deals with the consequences of one's parents' actions. It poses the question about God reconciling accounts with the next generation. Something I have discovered over time is that it depends on the country as to whether one is responsible for one's parents' debts. The reading makes clear that God holds the individual responsible for his or her own actions. My initial response was the sinful acts as they are described in the reading seem to be clear cases. Further reflection has me considering mitigating circumstances. Ambiguity (particularly in matters with serious consequences) leaves me uncomfortable. In these cases, I find myself wanting to avoid decisions and their consequences, rather than confronting them and moving on.|The Psalm makes clear God's forgiveness, taking forgiveness beyond "clearing the books" to restoring "nearness" in our relationship with Him. I see these as two different levels in the healing process. I go on to see the Gospel as suggesting God's openness to everyone. It is not just to those who are followers or even just to those who are mature.|Today I pray for the strength to take responsibility for my actions. I pray for the will to move forward in my mission on this earth. Heavenly Father, You know what is in my heart. Give me the wisdom to identify what coincides withYour will. Give me the strength to follow through in my actions. Thank you for the gift of your forgiveness when I fail. Help me always to remain close to You.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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