Daily Reflection for Monday, October 7, 2019
|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: Jonah 1:1-2:1-2, 11
Responsorial: Jonah 2:3-5, 8
Gospel: Luke 10:25-37
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
“You brought my life up from the pit, O Lord, my God.” Jonah 2:7
My son is on the edge of his teenage years, and he frequently brings me to the edge of my patience and self-control. If I tell him to “go upstairs and put on a clean shirt,” he knows I mean for him to take off the dirty shirt before putting on a clean one. But he seems to relish finding loopholes in my instructions … for his own amusement, to save time and effort, or to see how far he can push before I give in or give up entirely.
Frustrating as this is, I am guilty of the same offense when I teeter on the edge of what I know God is asking me to do. Like Jonah, there are times when I sense God calling me to something important, but I refuse to do it. I fruitlessly try to hide from God, which is, of course, impossible. My stubbornness may even harm those close to me, as Jonah’s did his shipmates. I am blessed to have dear ones who “throw me overboard” when I am willfully ignorant of God’s plan.
Like the priest and the Levite, there are times when I see suffering, but refuse to be the Good Samaritan who is moved into action. Dealing with the suffering of others is often inconvenient, burdensome, and painful. Easier to slip to the other side of the road and hope someone else will come along to save the day.
Thankfully, none of us is alone in our suffering or our devotion to God. Fr. Richard Rohr* suggests that when we see our suffering as part of God’s universal plan and allow our hurts and failures to become part of something larger, we become stronger and better for it:
“When we carry our small suffering in solidarity with humanity’s one universal longing for deep union, it helps keep us from self-pity or self-preoccupation. We know that we are all in this together. It is just as hard for everybody else, and our healing is bound up in each other’s. Almost all people are carrying a great and secret hurt, even when they don’t know it. This realization softens the space around our overly defended hearts. It makes it hard to be cruel to anyone. It somehow makes us one—in a way that easy comfort and entertainment never can.”
Jonah, the priest, the Levite, you, and I are united in Christ. Pray with me today that we might join our hurt with that of our shipmates’ and fellow travelers’ so that we may all feel passionate love for God and each other.
May God’s Peace Be With You,