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Browsing Reflections Archive

December 14, 2021

Daily Reflection for Tuesday, December 14 , 2021

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading:  Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13
Responsorial:  Psalm 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-18, 19 and 23
Gospel:  Matthew 21:28-32

Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:

In Tuesday’s Gospel, one son tells his father he won’t help in the fields, but changes his mind and goes to work.  His brother says he will help, but does not.  Jesus asks, “Which of the two did his father’s will?” (Matthew 21:31).  The behavior of the first son reminds us that actions speak louder than words.

Of course, real life isn’t always that simple.  How I recognize and respond to opportunities to serve God reveals much about me as a person.  John W. Gardner, founder of Common Cause, described it well:

“You build out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something.”

How I acquiesce to any opportunity to serve God grows from all of my being, including my view of all of the guidance of my faith, my view of my place in a community, and of the world at large.  What I do, large or small, shows how I have integrated my faith into my life. 

Jesus used the metaphors of working in the vineyards, tending his flocks, guarding the lambs, to clearly state his intentions for his followers.  Their assignment was to do the hard, sometimes dirty, very physical work of taking care of one another.  Their mission was to go into the community, to work together, to bring healing and comfort where needed.  And he asked them to work together!

In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus gave us the Great Commandment ­ to love God with all my heart, soul and mind, and to love my neighbor as myself.  To do the first part also means saying “Yes!” when He asks us to do the second, which can require following Jesus’ example to wash someone’s smelly, dirty feet! 

Do I say, “Yes, God, I love my neighbor . . .” yet ignore the neighbor in need?  I admit, there are days when I’d rather not get involved!  But if I have integrated my faith and my life, my response must show a seamless garment woven of both what I profess and what I do.

Thinking about these things, I recognize a conflict in how I must live in December 2021.  For me, life is all about relationships.  During a time of pandemic conditions, loving others through social distancing doesn’t come easily.  I am challenged to abide by restrictions for a safe community. 

Instinctively, I want to reach out and get close to others.  Yet, if I believe God wants us to tend to the needs of the whole community, then I am bound to acquiesce “to tend the flock” and to love my neighbor as myself in whatever way that requires, including keeping safe so that others, too, are safe. 

Help me, Lord, to seek your will, not my own.

Peace, my friends,
Bill Bradbury


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