“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12

Ninth Week in Ordinary Time: June 3 - 9, 2007

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The Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

The week begins with Trinity Sunday, which always follows Pentecost. It celebrates the un-knowable relationship between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit - and their loving support for us in our lives.

Tuesday is the Memorial of Saint Boniface, bishop and martyr. On Thursday, most of the world will celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ, (Corpus Christi). In the U.S., this will be celebrated next Sunday, June 10.

This week is our only exposure to the Book of Tobit in the two year cycle of readings. The Book of Tobit is a novel in the Wisdom literature tradition. We read the story of the misfortunes Tobit and a young woman, named Sarah. The story is about God's fidelity, even though they are tested, and their perseverance in prayer and works of charity. The songs of praise in Tobit this week are extraordinary.

We resume reading about how Jesus is in the midst of a struggle with the religious leaders in Jerusalem who do not like them. He tells them the Parable of the tenant farmers, telling them that the stone rejected by builders has become the cornerstone. They almost arrest him. His opponents try to ensnare Jesus with question about the temple tax, but he isn't trapped by them.
When they question him about the resurrection, Jesus tells a parable which teaches that God is the God of the living. When asked which is the first commandment, Jesus gives two - highlighting the equal importance of love of God and neighbor. Jesus is both Son of David and Messiah and Lord. Jesus warns of those who abuse widows on spiritual pretexts and tells his disciples to notice the widow who gave from her poverty.

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 Tenth Week of Ordinary Time and in the gospel Jesus shows his compassion for the Widow of Nain by raising her son from the dead.



Daily Prayer This Week

Having celebrated God's love for us on Sunday, we are ready to enter this week to explore the depth of that love and the powerful call each of us is given to love each other.

This is a great week for rich reflections on the Word and the feasts as they relate to the various movements going on in our lives this week. We can make this week special by entering into the celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ with longing and desire. Each of us can prepare - even as we are washing up and getting dressed - to walk into our parish church or congregation, asking our Lord to be the Bread that gives Life to us, this day. We can simplify the background of our Saturday or Sunday, to enter into our hungers and thirsts. We can let this wonderful gift of our Lord to us become a reality so that when we open our hands to say "Amen," we are opening our hearts to receive a love than can transform us into Bread, given for one another and our world.

All week, we can let the Tobit story and Jesus in Jerusalem interact with our reflecting and desiring. We can turn to God, in faith and hope, as Tobit and Sarah do. We can practice asking to be able to persevere in difficult times.

Lord, help me respond in gratitude with you with at least more of my heart, more of my whole self. And, Lord, let me love my spouse, my children, my parents, my neighbors here and around the world with more patience and reverent care. All week, let me chat with you about them and their needs, so that I might learn to love, with the profound love you with which you have loved me.

And, let's be inspired enough this week to give from the deepest part of our very selves, the depths of our beings, instead of just our surplus. What is the "widow's mite" in our own lives?

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