Reflection for Thursday, October 29, 2020: 30th week in Ordinary Time.

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Lenz, Tom
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2020-10-29
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en_US
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|The messaging from Jesus in today's Gospel from Luke gave me lots to think about and consider in my own life. As usual, it took me a couple of reads and turning my intellectual brain off to understand the message. But, like always, God was patient with me and provided the grace to see and hear.|I seems like I catch myself, lately, getting consumed by a lot of outside noise that demands my attention. The looming election is a big one. The more I try to inform myself by watching the news and reading articles, the more I feel myself becoming anxious and almost afraid. So, as I started to read Luke's Gospel, the first few lines show the Pharisees afraid and trying to make Jesus afraid, too. This sounded strangely familiar to what today's politicians and news reporters are doing as well. They seem to be anxious and afraid and I can feel it projecting onto me as I try to keep up with the daily happenings.|As the reading continues, I can picture Jesus' calm reply. And, his messaging was exactly what I needed to hear – as it probably was for the Pharisees, too. He essentially says, "No worries…I am going to continue doing what I am doing because as long as I stay true to God, everything is going to work out okay." ("… for it's impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem" – with Jerusalem, in this case, being the Kingdom of God) The Gospel reading helps me to push aside all the negative political ads that are designed to increase anxiety and fear and to refocus on my true-self rather than the projected fears of others.|The messaging from Jesus doesn't stop there, and, for me it gets better. He addresses them not by saying, "Hey all you people, listen to me." Rather he addresses them as "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" so as to let them know they are already part of the Kingdom of God. In his words he asked them why they resist all the gifts that are sent to them. They "kill the prophets and stone those sent" to give them comfort. In other words, they are too preoccupied by anxiety and fear to recognize the good that God sends their way. It reminds me of what St. Augustine said, "God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hand are too full to receive them." For me this makes great sense. I am many times too consumed by anxiety, fear, work, "to do lists," and the general busy-ness of everyday life to recognize the good things. My hands are too full.|But, as Jesus says, if we abandon those things (fear, anxiety, busy-ness) and allow ourselves to be emptied we will then be able to see him – "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." It's another great paradox – it isn't until we let go, that we will gain.|At the beginning of the reading Jesus lets us know that he will do the heavy lifting (represented in his referral to the Triduum) so that we can let go of all that concerns us and recognize that the manifestation of God is all around us – the gifts! So, my hope is to let go of all the politics and worry that I carry in my hands – so that I can be in a position to receive.
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University Ministry, Creighton University.
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These reflections may not be sold or used commercially without permission. Personal or parish use is permitted.
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