Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time: June 18 - 24, 2006

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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"May our worship of this sacrament of your body and blood help us to experience the salvation you won for us and the peace of the Kingdom.." Opening Prayer - Corpus Christi
The Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time|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 Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time and in the gospel Jesus offers two parables about how we can place our trust in the Kingdom of God.|Wednesday is the Memorial of the Jesuit Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. Friday is The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Saturday is the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist.|The first readings this week continue the stories about Elijah and Elisha - powerful prophet and agents of God's word for the people.|The gospels this week continue the Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew's Gospel. In revealing his new and deeper way, Jesus shares a most counter-cultural law, "offer no resistance to one who is evil." And, he tells us to "Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow." He proclaims, "I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. ... For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?" And, just when we think he is asking the impossible of us, he goes even further, "So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." He warns his disciples against hypocrisy, "Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them." Praying and fasting have their own reward from the Lord. Jesus tells us to keep our prayer simple, "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him," and he teaches us the Our Father.|On the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time we hear the story from Mark's Gospel about the storm at sea. Jesus calms the sea and asks, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?"
Daily Prayer This Week|This is a week of powerful feasts and readings, beginning with the celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ and concluding with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart and the Birth of John the Baptist. Clearly, this is a week to ask for the grace to grow in a more personal sense of God's profound love for us. God is reaching out to us, over and over again, from the preparations of the way for Jesus by John's birth to the complete gift of himself to us in the Eucharist. We can ask to be more grateful, appreciative and generous in responding. And, if we feel too busy, too distracted, too crabby or just too cool inside, we can keep asking. The grace of knowing God's love for us in Jesus is surely something God wants to give us.|The Sermon on the Mount is a terrific revelation of what Jesus is like and what he offers us. In the spirit of his challenging words, we can carry on a dialogue with him all week, as these words interact with the relationships and concrete responsibilities of our daily lives. Why does he ask us to "turn the other cheek?" Is he against legitimate self defense? Or, is Jesus calling us to a more radical dependence upon God? Are there some battles I'm involved in these days that I need to withdraw from? Are there some "enemies" I need to love the way Jesus has loved me? With compassion and forgiveness that rises to God's own love? The only way to grow in the these graces is to ask for them. Each morning, we can spend just a few moments to name our desire for grown in these relationships, and let these ongoing communication with the Lord form the background of our day.|We may discover some hypocrisy in ourselves this week or some self-serving showing off. We can let the Lord's Prayer be our simply and growing prayer of trust and love. And, preparing for Sunday, we can ask that our Lord take our fears away, as we place our faith in his calming presence.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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