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October 22, 2019

Daily Reflection for Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/102219.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading:  Romans 5:12, 15b, 17-19, 20b-21
Responsorial:  Psalm 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 17
Gospel:  Luke 12:35-38

Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.” (Luke 12:35-36)

Today’s gospel is about preparedness.  In Jesus’ time, “Girding one’s loins” referred to tying the lower garments between the legs to improve mobility in battle.  Lamps fought the darkness that hindered vision.  Jesus used these metaphors to advise friends about his impending death, that he would ascend to Heaven, and return at the end of time.  Difficult times require preparedness.  If my life is an open book to God, what does it reveal about my preparedness to meet with him?  At age 81, questions such as these flood my mind.  But the Lord is simply saying: “Just tell me your story, Bill.”

How do we prepare for life’s battles?  Personally, I can’t imagine doing that on my own.  I’d probably be more focused on my own self-interests rather than on God’s Kingdom.  But I’m not alone in coping with what life hands me.  An entire community supports me.  Just a few examples:

-- When I was going through RCIA, Margot and I formed friendships that have endured through the years. These relationships have the loving foundation that meant our friends in time of difficulty sustained us.  They challenged us when we needed to grow.  They brought us great joy through shared celebrations.  We wasted time together (kids call this play), and we worked side-by-side in volunteer projects.
 
-- Our neighbors aren’t just “friendly.”  We care for homes and pets when families are away.  We support each other.  One has impromptu Saturday morning “sticky bun” parties for us, another brings in the empty trash barrels.  One day while I was out for a walk, it started raining . . . hard.  A neighbor who had seen me, jumped in his car to “rescue” me from the storm.

-- Our Small Church Community has been meeting for 16 years to share times . . . some good and others that were difficult.

Such relationships are grounded in the power of other-centeredness, the power of love.  We “have each other’s back.”  We experience profound bonds of joy and strength, of action-based bonds that are much stronger than the “liking” or “friending” of social media.

All of this reminds me of the gift – and the cost – of koinona*, the strong “mutual bond of strength and consolation” that reinforces our separate lives.  All of our lives are challenging.  Meeting challenges – preparing for life’s “battles” – is done more effectively if we are part of communities of love . . . communities where love is not only a delightful thing that I feel, but also a difficult thing that I do.

May we share koinonia today, my friends,
Bill Bradbury

https://www.compellingtruth.org/koinonia.html

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