Reflection for Friday, June 23, 2000: 11th week in Ordinary Time.

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O'Reilly, Daniel Patrick
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Today's Scripture readings offer a wide variety of stories covering political intrigue, horrible murder, a promise from God and advice from Christ. Not many common themes, but a thread running through is covenants and lamps.||In 2 Kings, Athaliah murders her grandsons for political gain (not my picture of grandma), but one young prince escapes and remains hidden in the temple of the Lord for six years. In the seventh year, the priest Jehoiada brings out the young Joash, crowns him king and has Athaliah killed. At the end of the carnage, two covenants are made. One between the Lord and the king and people and one between the king and the people. The people honor their covenant to serve only the Lord and destroy the temple of Baal and murder the priest. Old Testament politics always seem pretty severe. The Psalmist proclaims the importance of our keeping our promises to God and proclaims God's promise of our coming lamp, the Christ.|In Matthew, Jesus warns against storing up treasures on earth and calls us to store up treasures in heaven. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." What a convicting statement. Jesus goes on to say that the eye is the lamp of the body. If Christ is our lamp, our body will be full of light and it will shine from our eyes. If Christ is not our lamp, our body will be full of darkness. And how great is that darkness! Christ presents us with a seemingly simple choice, but it isn't. We all have to make choices in our lives between Christ and the world. Christ's teachings often run counter to what the world teaches. And the world is often very attractive. In a family with seven boys, hand-me-downs are a given. Hand-me-down clothes, shoes, toys, even beds. Recently we purchased a mattress and box springs for my fifth grader. When I tucked him in, I asked what he thought of his new bed. His response was "this must be how the rich kids sleep." My response, initially, was hysterical laughter. However, as I thought about this, it really bothered me that the inference was that my son thought that we were poor. This really ate at me for a while. However, on third thought, it struck me. What an incredible thing. In a world where we are bombarded with the idea that we have to have newer, flashier, better, more expensive, consume, consume, consume, this kid was happy with a nice place to sleep. My prayer is that I would be more like my son. Less concerned about the material and more concerned about God's plan for my life.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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