Daily Reflection for Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First reading: Jeremiah 18:18-20
Responsorial: Psalm 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
Gospel: Matthew 20: 17-28
Our reflection on Wednesday's reading:
“… the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28
Writing a reflection a week ahead of its share date leaves uncertainty about what may be unfolding in the world that day. But I cannot reflect on our Christian walk today without recognizing the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine.
I regularly read the daily offerings from Give Us This Day, a Benedictine meditation on scripture with prayer. Today's featured person, called “Blessed Among Us”, is St. John de Brebuef, patron saint of Canada. Fr. Brebeuf lived and served among the Huron, eventually giving his life alongside the lives of his colleagues and many of these first nation people in Canada. All were massacred by an Iroquois attack. Fr. Brebeuf and a companion suffered horrid torture before their deaths.
My wife and I have walked a pilgrimage from Guelph, Ontario, to the Martyrs Shrine in Midland, Ontario, (about 110 miles). Each day on this pilgrimage, we honored one of the seven Jesuits who died for their cause of sharing the Gospel with the Huron people. What I previously did not understand was that this massacre was instigated by European political dynamics. The Dutch and the English wanted the French out of the territory. So these French Jesuits and their converts became a target and the Iroquois were encouraged, through the provision of guns and alcohol, to carry out their attack.
Sadly, world politics and power strategies have not changed much. Without the gospel in our hearts, we as individuals and as groups, including countries, put self and power above compassion and service. Following Jesus is not easy in our world. Sacrifice, suffering, and service are risks we Christians may be called to take. Lent is a time to open our thoughts and hearts to those for whom Jesus weeps. Comfort is not our calling; eternal Life is our promise. My wife and I often question the bubble of safety in which we live. While we receive this blessing with genuine thanksgiving, we feel an obligation to those who suffer throughout this world at the hands of those same power dynamics that crucified our Lord in order to preserve self-interests.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to open ourselves to the risks and challenges of loving as you love and serving as you have served. Protect us from the worldly sins and rationalizations. Lead us into paths of righteousness and love. In your name, we ask this, Amen.
Peace and courage in difficult times,