Daily Reflection for Monday, February 17, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Monday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: James 1:1-11
Responsorial: Psalm 119:67-68, 71-72, 75-76
Gospel: Mark 8:11-13
Our reflection on Monday’s reading:
It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes. Psalm 119:71
The Psalmist articulates a great truth with humility and wisdom. By recognizing and acknowledging his sins (afflictions) he can deny himself long enough to learn something of God’s statutes. Seldom do we recognize our own sins without help. Prayer, contemplation and communion with our creator can help us move beyond our earthly self and see those afflictions for what they truly are… sin.
In his book Breathing Underwater: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps, Richard Rohr explores the connections between the gospel message and the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. He posits: ”How helpful it is to see sin, like addiction, as a disease, a very destructive disease, instead of merely something that was culpable, punishable or ‘made God unhappy’.”
It is easy for me to observe the addictions of others but infinitely harder to recognize my own. Am I using my precious time to assist others, to become the best version of myself, to make a difference in my community, to build the kingdom of God? Or ... do I engage in activities that are self-centered and escapist in nature. Our cell phones and iPads are modern marvels and help us stay organized and engaged in productive activities. However, they are also seductive devices that can draw our attention towards ourselves and before you know it, another 30 minutes of our precious lifetime is wasted on minutia.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. The Jesus Prayer is an ultimate acknowledgement that I am afflicted by sin. This is the most prevalent addiction know to man but up until now, I have not treated it as an addiction. I must take baby steps. I must first and foremost acknowledge that I have a problem. So today I start my journey. Hi, my name is Paul Gunn and I am a sinner.
The lessons from the twelve steps are profound and connected to the gospel message. Maybe we all can learn something about ourselves if we treated sin as an addiction!
Blessings to you today as you prepare for Lent.