Eighth Week of Ordinary Time: May 23-29, 2010

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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"Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all." Mark 10
Eighth Week of Ordinary Time|Sunday, May 23 is the great feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church and the close of the Easter season. The readings and the whole Church celebrate the coming and ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit among us. The Apostles who had been so frightened are now on fire. Now they can speak clearly, so everyone can understand them. In John's Gospel, Jesus breathes on his jittery followers and tells them, "Peace be with you" and fills them with courage, giving them the mission to forgive and sending them to carry out his desire that we all be one.|During the week, Mark's Gospel offers us stories about sacrificing part of ourselves. We hear of the Rich Young Man: "Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Peter tells Jesus, "We have given up everything and followed you." Jesus responds, "there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more." When the disciples squabble over who will sit in glory with Jesus, he tells them, "the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." Bartimaeus, a blind man recognizes Jesus as "Son of David" and is healed. Bartimaeus follows Jesus. He drives money changers out of the Temple saying, "My house shall be called a house of prayer ... but you have made it a den of thieves." We end the week with Jesus evading the trickery of the chief priests who ask him "by what authority are you doing these things?"|The week closes with Trinity Sunday, which always follows Pentecost. It celebrates the un-knowable relationship between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit - and their loving support for us in our lives. "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth."
Daily Prayer This Week|This is a week we can look at letting go -- of riches, honors, pride. In these days we can hand it all over to Jesus and ask for the trust we need in our lives. We can hand over our fears and jealousy, our titles and our possessions - anything that has become too important in our lives can get in the way of how close we allow ourselves to be with Jesus.|As we go through our week, in the smallest moments of the day, we can beg Jesus for the strength of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As we awaken in the morning, and in the everyday moments of our lives, an awareness of our desires before Jesus can change our attitudes toward these chores and see them as sacred moments of invitation from the God who loves us with such fire and compassion.|Dear Lord, you know how filled I am with fears. Let each moment of anxiety today be a reminder to open my life, my heart and my soul to the love and courage you offer me. I know that if only I could trust in you more, it would change my life.|"He went away sad, for he had many possessions!" Let me turn these apprehensions over to you. I beg you to give me the wisdom and strength I need to trust more and to fear less. Teach me that it's OK to stop clinging to the fears I have known for so long and that I can embrace the freedom you offer me. Let me be less fear-full and more generous.|And all day long, as we run our errands or sit at our desks, we can take a moment to say "Thank you" to the God on whom we have such an utter dependence and who loves us with such abandon.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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