Eighth Week of Ordinary Time: May 26 - June 1, 2013

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Mark 10
Eighth Week of Ordinary Time|The week opens 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."|Friday is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with its own special readings. Saturday is the Memorial of Saint Justin, Martyr.|The first readings this week are from Sirach, with their beautiful seeking of Wisdom.|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," is healed and follows Jesus. Jesus turns over the sellers' tables in the temple as the religious authorities look for a way to put him to death. When they try to entrap him with their questions, Jesus asks them about John the Baptist's baptism. They refuse to answer and Jesus says, "Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things."|Sunday in the U.S. is the The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. For the rest of the world it is the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time and in the gospel Jesus cures the servant of a centurion, who tells Jesus, "I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof."
Daily Prayer This Week|This week can be a great time for us to reflect upon the journey that each of us is on. We are on the road with Jesus and we sometimes seem to be partially blind. We hear him describe for us how much he wants us to be intimately involved in his self-giving love for others, yet our everyday concerns are too often self-absorbed. And, for the big decisions and small choices we continually face, we seek wisdom, clarity, the path that is just, honorable, even heroic. The readings for this week really can help us shape the desires we talk about with Jesus in the background of our daily journey each day.|We can start by asking for the grace not to be possessed by our possessions. A simple look around will help us get in touch with how attached we are to things that limit our availability to more completely follow Jesus. Even when we know how rewarding it is to follow him, we are tempted to turn it into a temptation. Who doesn't ask, "Who is the greatest?" We need grace this week to be renewed in our conviction that our mission is as servants, placing ourselves at the needs of others before our own. It is difficult to know what we are unable to see. We can ask Jesus to heal our blindness and to allow us to follow him on the road, especially when it leads us to Jerusalem - taking up our crosses, out of grateful love.|Sometimes, the most ordinary of weeks can carry the deepest graces. The effort to place ourselves in grace-filled situations is all about focus. It starts in the morning, in getting ourselves to a place in which we can name a need, a desire, which might not be very obvious, even though it is sitting in the center of our hearts. It takes a little practice to get good at this self-examination and humble openness to grace. After a while, it is so fulfilling, because it is so real.|One part of the joy of this journey is coming to realize, to experience personally, that the God I deeply desire to find, wants infinitely more to be in a loving relationship with me. In every Ordinary Time life, there are "good days" and "bad days," but in this type of daily prayer, none of our days are ever alone.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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