Reflection for Saturday, June 13, 2020: 10th week in Ordinary Time.

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Hopp, Larry
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In these challenging times, how are we seeing our world?|At first glance, today's readings seem to make little sense to me in these times of pandemic fear.  Yet as our amazing God always does, they are exactly what is needed today.  Nothing we are facing catches our loving God by surprise, nor does he overlook what is truly needed.  His love never fails.|So let's start with the Gospel.  I struggled with connecting to verses 33 thru 37 in Matthew's Gospel.   I was missing the message that Jesus is conveying here about making oaths.  But then I went back to the start of this 5th chapter of Matthew and it all started to make sense.  In the Beatitudes, Jesus shows us what really makes up blessings – certainly not according to the world's standards but rather through the eyes of Jesus.  He then goes on to remind us of how he wants to use us as "salt & light" in a troubled world, for we are each uniquely made for times such as these.   And if all that were not enough, Jesus then opens our eyes to the truth about how the world looks at evil, and how easy it is for us to get lured into sin if we see only as the world views.  For me, going through verses 1 through 32 of this crucial chapter in Matthew clarified Jesus' message in today's Gospel and clearly brought that  message into focus.  We are to see our current pandemic fears through His eyes.  Today's Gospel verses  about "not making oaths that we cannot keep" points us to the simple truth of our need to trust God and to accept the fact  that He alone is in control.|For me, however, that conclusion still seemed to be a stretch of what God is trying to tell us. But then I went back to the Psalms for today where God clearly reinforcing the thought that God knows that we will face tough times in our lives and that the only answer is to simply and completely trust in Him.  For He is our refuge.  With total confidence we can trust in His counsel.  Yes, God is our inheritance.  We need not fear for that inheritance is secure.  No pandemic could ever take that away from us.|All of this slowly began to make sense for me.  So much of these pandemic issues seem to defy world logic, yet I am confident that Jesus is calling us to view these times through His eyes.    It seems that the fifth chapter of Matthew was written precisely for times such as these.  Are we letting fear paralyze us, or are we keeping our eyes open for opportunities to be a blessing to those God has placed in our lives?  Are we trying to impress with fine sounding arguments or just simply demonstrating a simple trust in Jesus?  Are we clearly living each day with the rock solid faith of our true inheritance?    In the first reading for today, we are introduced to a clear example of what trusting God "in the moment" should look like.  Elisha was living his day-to-day life when something totally unexpected confronted him.   Elijah showed up with an opportunity that would change Elisha's world forever.  Amazingly, Elisha instantly embraced this challenge with shocking courage.  He simply trusted God completely, dealt with the immediate needs of this new challenge and went on to fulfill his God given destiny.|Once again, what seemed confusing to me at first, God clearly had a purpose in providing us with these precise readings for today.  It is truly breath taking how the God of the universe loves us so much that He so effectively is able to provide us with precisely what is needed each and every day of our lives.|Dear Heavenly Father,  forgive me for taking so long to figure out today the mysteries of your undying love.  Your precious Word provides our secure comfort, peace, and joy.  In these troubled times, please use us to point our troubled world to the light of your love.  In the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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