Twenty-Fifth Week of Ordinary Time: Sept. 21 - 27, 2008

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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"But who do you say that I am?" Peter said in reply, "The Christ of God." Luke 9
The Twenty-Fifth Week of Ordinary Time|For the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time we receive the powerful parable about the landlord who represents God's way of caring for us. Though workers go out into his vineyard at various times of the day, he pays them all the same. When they grumble, he simply explains that he desires to be generous. How this can change our view of God and our own sense of justice?|Tuesday is the Memorial of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, known familiarly as Padre Pio. Saturday is the Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul.|In Luke's Gospel this week. Jesus shares his wisdom with the crowds he addresses. We must share the light that has been entrusted to us, not hide it. The tables will be turned on those who try to greedily hold on to what they have. When people report that Jesus' family is looking for him, he uses the occasion to highlight the nature of our relationship with him: "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it." When Jesus sends the Twelve to heal and to proclaim the Kingdom he tells them to serve, trusting in God: "Take nothing for the journey." Herod hears about the new prophet and wonders who it is - he has already beheaded John the Baptist. When Jesus tells his disciples that he will be handed over to others, they can't possibly understand until another day. They were afraid to ask Jesus about this.|On the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time we hear Paul exhorting the Philippians, "Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus," offering us a powerful image of Jesus' humble, self-less service. In Matthew's Gospel Jesus offers a story about two sons, one who agrees to work in the vineyard but doesn't; the other who tells his father he will not work but then quietly goes to work. It is a story that challenges the chief priests and elders of the people, "Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you."
Daily Prayer This Week|Every day of every week, we have the precious opportunity to get to know Jesus more intimately and to become more attracted to him, with the result that we grow in a desire to be with him more and to be more like him. Few of us have the wonderful opportunity to follow the special vocation of becoming contemplatives, but we can be more contemplative in our everyday lives. This can happen for us, not by "leaving the world" but by letting our Lord have a place in our very busy daily world. if we keep developing the habit of being contemplatives in the midst of our days, we will indeed be blessed to find intimacy with God in our everyday lives. It doesn't take more time. It just takes focus.|From the first few moments of our day, and in very brief conscious moments throughout the day, we can speak with our Lord. We can notice what is going on in within us - our fears, our fatigue, our joys and our sorrows - and tell our Lord what we are feeling and ask for the graces we need.|This week, we can be conscious of the invitation of Sunday's gospel to be less judgmental and more aware of how generously and undeservedly we are loved by God. In a very brief moment, we might ask our Lord to give us the grace to share the light, the gifts we've been given, generously.|On another day, we might find ourselves doing what the Lord has asked us to do, but tempted out of our fear and anxiety to "take too much with us," in the sense of not really trusting that our Lord will give us what we need for the journey. This would be a great day for some "friend to friend" conversation with our Lord, before the challenge, in moments during it, and after it is completed, expressing our gratitude.|We can grow in freedom by not being afraid to ask our Lord about anything. The answer surprisingly comes in our own inner peace and trust. By Sunday we can find ourselves judging others less, and more freely and consciously choosing to turn away from occasions of sin.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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