Daily Reflection for Monday, March 21, 2022
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: 2 Kings 5:1-15ab
Responsorial: Psalm 42:2,3; 43:3,4
Gospel: Luke 4:24-30
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
If the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it? 2 Kings 5:13
When I was growing up, we had a book that I suspect was in most Catholic households called The Lives of the Saints. It was filled with gruesome pictures of martyrs such as St. Sebastian, shot through with arrows but still looking heavenward with a peaceful countenance. My brothers and sisters and I would imagine ourselves being asked to die for Jesus and declared that we, too, would be willing to suffer the torments inflicted upon the saints (while secretly hoping it would never come to that, at least in my case). I suspect we wanted him to ask us to do something difficult so that WE would be covered in glory and have our own page in the books of the future.
Sometimes I am envious of the lives that others lead that seem so much more productive and meaningful than mine. They are doing amazing things and changing the world and I am just plodding along. Although I am not in the habit of doing it regularly, recently I read an obituary that ran to half a page about a remarkable woman who had done more in her 50 short years than I think I could have accomplished in 3 lifetimes.
I found myself skeptically questioning how it could all be true, much as I suppose Jesus’ hometown acquaintances might have done when they heard all the reports of the people who had witnessed his miracles and been transformed by his teaching. It would be difficult to stand aside and watch another take the starring role, especially when you knew them as just another kid on the block. And then to be told that you weren’t as special as you imagined because even one your biggest rivals could be the vehicle for bringing about the Kingdom…it must have all been too much. Feeling insignificant was enough to make the people of Nazareth so angry they were ready to destroy Jesus.
What simple, seemingly insignificant things does Jesus ask me to do when I am hoping for extraordinary challenges?
At our recent small faith sharing meeting, the facilitator asked us, “When do you find it easy and when is it hard to talk about your faith?” I can speak easily to another group of believers but what about those times when I am with people whose opinions I don’t know or who openly scoff at religion? One of the simplest, but most important, thing God asks of us is to tell others about him, to share the good news of the gospel. (see Matthew 28:19-20) How do I imagine I could be shot full of arrows when I won’t risk ridicule by speaking these truths to the unchurched? I need to ponder that.
Give me the grace and courage Lord to lead my daily life in a way that brings about your Kingdom, content to be the least significant of your servants.