Seventh Week of Ordinary Time: May 19 - 25, 2013

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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Jesus said, "Everything is possible to one who has faith." Then the boy"s father cried out, "I do believe, help my unbelief!" -Mark 9
Seventh Week of Ordinary Time|Sunday is the great feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. The readings and the whole Church celebrate the coming and ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit among us. The Apostles who had been so frightened are now on fire. Now they can speak clearly, so everyone can understand them. In John's Gospel, Jesus breathes on his jittery followers and tells them, "Peace be with you" and fills them with courage, giving them the mission to forgive and sending them to carry out his desire that we all be one.|After our long Lent and Easter break, we return to Ordinary Time with the the Seventh Week. It offers beautiful readings from Sirach, part of the "Wisdom" literature in the Old Testament.|The Gospel of Mark brings us the narrative of Jesus healing a boy possessed, an evil spirit the Apostles could not drive out. "This kind can only come out through prayer." When the disciples argued over which of them was the greatest, Jesus tells them "If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all." He tells the apostles not to worry about those healing in the name of Jesus, "for whoever is not against us is for us." He gives them a vivid description of the challenges of following him: "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off." When the Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a question about divorce, he replies, "What God has joined together, no human being must separate." He encourages us to be childlike before God in trust and love. "Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it."|The week closes 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."
Daily Prayer This Week|This week we see Jesus healing and teaching his disciples about the challenges of following him.|As we go through our week, in the smallest moments of the day, we can beg God for strength and courage in our lives. As we awaken in the morning, wash laundry or do the dishes, we can change our attitudes toward these chores and see them as sacred moments of invitation from the God who loves us with such fire and compassion.|Loving God, you know how much I need healing. As you healed so many others, please touch my heart and help me to open my life, my heart and my soul to the love and healing you want to give me.. I know that if only I could trust in you more, it would change my life.|"I do believe! Help my unbelief!" Let me turn all of apprehensions over to you. I beg you to give me the wisdom and courage I need to trust more and to fear less. Teach me to feel your presence deeply in my life so I can stop clinging to my lack of courage and my fear. Let me release anything that holds me back from your love and the embrace of the freedom you offer me.|We can find the healing we so deeply want simply by asking God for it and then living as if we have received it. It is not about the amount of time we spend, but about an awareness of God's presence in our lives. Believing and trusting in that love and grace, we can find the humility to say, "I'm sorry" to someone we have hurt. We can take a moment to write a note or an e-mail telling a suffering friend we are praying for them.|And all day long, as we run our errands or sit at our desks, we can take a moment to say "Thank you" to the God on whom we have such an utter dependence and who loves us with such abandon.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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