Reflection for Wednesday, August 31, 2022: 22nd Week of Ordinary Time.

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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|I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.|Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,|but only God, who causes the growth. 1 Corintians 3|She got up immediately and waited on them. Luke 4|Both these readings are very important. Paul writes to the faith community of Corinth and essentially calls them immature for their divisions. In our church today when we experience great divisions, we can find grace in Paul's admonition against saying "I'm loyal to Paul" or "I'm loyal to Appollos." Paul urges a unity, a coming together, which acknowledges that all genuine grace, and growth, comes from God alone. We can have disagreements, but it is only dialogue, compassion, and real charity which will keep us centered in our unity in Jesus and his gift of mercy and salvation.|It is beautiful to picture Jesus entering Simon home. At this point in Luke's gospel, Jesus hadn't yet called Simon Peter to be his lead apostle. It appears that Simon is just one of those who is conscious of Jesus' ministry. Perhaps he'd heard him preaching. He may have even seen him heal others. So, Simon asks Jesus to come and help his wife's mother, as she is suffering from a fever. We can imagine Jesus' entering the little house and seeing her there in bed. It is easy to picture his heart going out to her. Suffering impacted him powerfully. We can sense his response as he "rebuked the fever." "And, it left her." The woman must have been quite a strong character, or her healing must have been quite complete, because she gets up immediately and gets them all something to eat. Of course, people brought many people to Jesus for healing, including those troubled by demons, and Jesus rebukes those. It is easy to imagine that having seen Jesus' power and love that Simon left his nets and followed Jesus completely.|It is consoling to draw several graces from this gospel. We can all turn to Jesus for healing. Perhaps every physical illness can't be physically healed. It is the deep healing that Jesus offers that is most important. He can rebuke the "illnesses" that trouble us most. He can cause our doubts and fears, our angers and judgments, our habits and patterns, our lack of love and compassion - whatever is keeping us from being fully well and alive, in him - to leave us. He is the one we can turn to for freedom and life in him. We can also count on this grace to set our hearts on fire to respond with generous service. The fruit of a return to wholeness of spirit is deep gratitude and self-sacrificing love.|It is also consoling to think about how each of us can "intercede" with Jesus for others who are suffering. Suffering can cause lack of hope and even threaten one's faith. We can be the disciple who turns to Jesus on behalf of someone who is struggling. "Dear Jesus, please give Ann freedom and peace." "Dear Jesus, please free Matt from what is troubling him." "Dear Jesus, please come to show your love and accompanyment to Pat."|Let's let these readings comfort us all with a renewed sense of Jesus' love for us. He's the one we can turn to in our need and he alone can offer us a peace that no one else can give. And, let us let go of our divisions and turn to Jesus to heal us as a community, filling us with gratitude that will lead us to coming together to serve those in need, in his name.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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