July 14, 2022
by Steve Scholer
Creighton University's University Relations
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin
Lectionary: 392

Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19
Psalm 102:13-14ab and 15, 16-18, 19-21
Matthew 11:28-30

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

What If I Have Trouble Getting Better?

During the NCAA basketball tournament, a bank ran a TV commercial to illustrate the “the easiest decision in the history of decision making.” It shows a group of 8-year-olds picking sides for a pickup basketball game. But not all the participants are 8 years old. Charles Barkley, a retired 6’6” NBA Hall of Famer, who stands towering over the children, is also waiting to be chosen. The first captain to pick proudly says, “I choose Barkley.”

As Christians, we know there was an even easier decision in the history of decision making. How about, “I choose Christ?”

Isn’t that what Jesus was saying in Matthew? Pick me to be on your team, and I will give you rest…and you will…learn from me…for I am meek and humble of heart.

As we look back on our most meaningful accomplishments, how many of them were achieved as part of a team, working together toward a common goal, being dependent on one another for success?

Psychologists have written much about the importance of teams, and most agree that the key elements to their success include sharing the same goals, open and honest communication with each member, dedication to reaching the goal, and being accountable to other members.

So, with each of us having made “the easiest decision in the history of decision making” by having chosen Christ to be on our team, how do we stack up as a teammate? Do we share the same goals as Christ, that we love our neighbors as we do ourselves? Are we open in our communication with Christ? Are our daily prayers rote or are they from the heart? Do we hide things from him because we are embarrassed to tell him the truth, or do we feel he doesn’t really need to know? Are we accountable to him in thought, word and deed, or do we think we can take a day off here and there and let Christ carry the load  by himself on those days?

As we find a quiet space to reflect upon today’s Gospel and to focus on God’s enveloping presence in our lives, take the time to see and enjoy the world he has created for us. Feel the Holy Spirit urging us to do more with our lives, to realize that Christ is there, step by step, as we labor to do what is right and what is just. Make note of the simple fact that each of us has made the easiest decision ever made, and if we are willing to do our part, then, too, will our yokes be easy and our burdens light. 

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