Reflection for Sunday, February 13, 2022: 6th Week of Ordinary Time.

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Cherney, Mike
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|The first reading emphasizes trust in God over the things of this world. Today's Psalm, the first Psalm, serves as an introduction to the Book of Psalms. It makes clear the choice between the ways of the wicked and the ways of the Lord. In Paul's letter we read that salvation rests on Christ's death and resurrection. The Gospel is a reminder of the true values of God's kingdom.|The Gospel from Luke is Jesus' Sermon on the Plain. This passage is very similar to the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew's Gospel, although the number of Beatitudes differs, and Luke's Gospel includes "woes". Many scripture scholars believe that these are two accounts of the same event.|If I imagine myself as part of Jesus' crowd, I think that I would find myself confused. In Jesus' time there was a common belief that bad fortune was due to sin on the part of the individual or the individual's ancestors. I am led to think that Jesus is dispelling this notion and empowering the downtrodden with dignity. Even today people mistake wealth, success, and social standing as signs of being among the elect in God's eyes. Jesus goes on to invoke woes to those who trust in the trappings of their good fortune.|My first thoughts, when I looked at today's readings, were that there was a common simple message: Trust in God, do good, avoid the temptations of this world and you can have faith in eternal life. I am moved toward a more subtle message in these scripture passages. Rather than as signs of "earning" heaven, I see how easily the distractions of good fortune can work as an impediment to my spiritual growth. In the First Principal and Foundation, St. Ignatius points out undue attachments to the gifts that we have received can displace what is truly important.|These days my wife and I are preparing to pack up and move. We see two potential opportunities for the next phase of our lives. It is not clear which path will open, but we can see that now is the time to move forward. In the packing process, we are beginning to realize how much "stuff" we have acquired. We are faced with decisions about what moves with us, what can be repurposed for others, and what can be left behind. It is becoming clear that the more of this "stuff" that we carry with us, the harder it will be to move forward. We find ourselves weighing how much of what we thought was connected to our identities really is part of us. We consider what will enhance and sustain our mission and what is no longer needed.|Dear Lord,|Help me to recognize your gifts for what they are.|Allow me to remember the guidance of St. Ignatius|to appreciate these gifts as they allow us to progress|while not allowing them to get in the way of the true end.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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