Ninth Week of Ordinary Time: Jun. 4 - 10, 2017

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. As we are recreated, you will renew the face of the earth.
Ninth Week of Ordinary Time|Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost. It is the birthday of the Church and the end of the Easter Season. The Acts of the Apostles tells the Pentecost story of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles. The Gospel of John tells how Jesus gave his Spirit to the Apostles on Easter Sunday, along with his own peace and the mission to forgive sins.|As we resume Ordinary Time this week, we begin reading from the Book of Tobit - a righteous man in the midst of those deported to Assyria. It is a story of great faith and fidelity in the midst of persecution.|We return to reading from Mark's Gospel this week. Jesus is speaking "to the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders in parables." He reveals that he is the "stone rejected by the builders." They try to snare him in traps and he tells them to give "to God what belongs to God." He defends the resurrection, against the Sadducees who mock it. He's asked what is the greatest commandment and he gives them two: "The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." While these religious leaders spurn him, the ordinary people take delight in Jesus. He denounces the showy corruption of some of the religious leaders which recognizing the small but powerful donation of a poor widow.|Sunday is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. This is not a theological feast, but rather a celebration that our God reveals to us the three persons: a Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Gospel is from John 3:16, which we see on banners at sporting events: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."
Daily Prayer This Week|We can reflect on the gift of the Holy Spirit to us all week. Throughout the week, we can reflect on the gifts the Holy Spirit gives us: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. This isn't to notice what we lack, but to notice what we desire. Who among us doesn't need more wisdom, or my fortitude - in the midst of the challenges we face? Asking for these graces can fill our week. Similarly, we can ask for the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which Paul describes: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We can certainly imagine desiring - and being open to these all week.|Tobit is a great story. Listening to this story can certainly help us ask ourselves what being a person of integrity would look like for us, in our place in life at this time.|We can also enjoy the way Jesus resists the insincereity of the religious leaders of his day. They have a hard time with his being so merciful and the very human manifestation of God in their midst. It is wonderful to ask for the grace to be as open as I can to receiving him as the Lord of my life - embracing his pattern and example of mercy and love.|We can let ourselves relate with each person of the Trinity this week, to prepare for Sunday's celebration. Speaking with our Father, in our own words, especially giving thanks for the gift of all creation, can renew that relationship with our Father. Talking with Jesus, friend to friend this week can be a great grace. And, asking the Holy Spirit to fill our heart with the fire of his love, that the Spirit might renew us and help in the mission of renewing the face of the earth.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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