Twenty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time: Sept. 16 - 22, 2007

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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"Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them,so that your progress may be evident to everyone." 1 Timothy 4
The Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time|God's loving mercy and forgiveness to us is the central message in the Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Knowing that his audience includes not only the sinners but also the judgmental religious leaders, Jesus offers three parables about mercy, ending with the powerful story of the Prodigal Son. "My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"|Thursday is the Memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, priest and martyr, and Saint Paul Chong Hasang, martyr, and their companions, martyrs. Friday is the Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist.|The week begins with Paul's First Letter to the Timothy and with his call for everyone to pray. Then he follow with calls for holiness, addressed to bishops, to deacons and their wives. He urges Timothy to keep giving an example, even though he is young. Paul hopes to visit soon.|Continuing with Luke's Gospel, we see how impressed Jesus is with the faith of the Centurion, begging for his servant's health. He is moved with pity for the widow of Nain and raises her son. He tells the people they can't decide who they want him to be. At Simon the Pharisee's home Jesus explains the woman's and Simon's behavior: "So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little." Jesus explains his parable of the seed sown, in terms of how our hearts receive his word. On the Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time Jesus tells the parable of the unjust steward who finds out he's been caught squandering his master's property, and goes out and makes deals to make friends for the future. Jesus acknowledges his prudence and calls us to have, at the very least, prudence about our future. "If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,who will trust you with true wealth?"
Daily Prayer This Week|This week is so rich with material to nourish our ongoing communication with the Lord. As we go through each day of our life this week, we will be staying focused on the connection between what I'm discussing with the Lord from the scriptures and what I'm discussing with the Lord from the daily events and challenges of my life.|It is easy to begin with the Prodigal Son from Sunday. There's the side of me that is forgiven and welcomed home and the part of me that's like the judgmental older son, who is always pointing the finger at others. Lots for conversation with Jesus.|The Centurion just confidently asks. He knows how power works. And, he knows he's not worthy. We can create a big pile of things to ask the Lord for. The conversation we need to have with Jesus is about how confidently we can place our life in his hands.|From the sinful woman who barges into Simon the Pharisee's dinner with Jesus, we can learn to ask for mercy and the powerful gratitude that follows it.|From the parable of the seed sown we can have a conversation with Jesus about the various kinds of soil we are this week. We can talk about how our receptivity is hurt by our anxieties and our desires.|The key is to have these brief conversations with our Lord in the midst of what we are doing - along the way - and then it becomes the spirituality of Contemplative in Action . And, every evening we can give thanks for the moments of connection we had with our Lord along the way, allowing him to draw us closer and closer.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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