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Browsing Reflections Archive

September 18, 2020

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
www.usccb.org/bible/readings/091820.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Responsorial: Psalm 17:1, 6-8, 15
Gospel: Luke 8:1-3

Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities.” Luke 8:1-2

I never noticed her before, but now I can’t stop thinking about Joanna. Joanna travelled from town to town with Jesus, the apostles, and other women he cured of evil spirits and infirmities. This odd assortment of devoted disciples must’ve had some lively dinner conversations!

Joanna was the wife of Herod’s steward. Put another way, Joanna was married to the guy who managed money for the guy who beheaded John the Baptist—Jesus’ beloved cousin. In spite of this awkward connection, Jesus healed her, and she provided for Jesus and his followers from her own resources. Joanna was with Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James when they discovered the empty tomb (Luke 24:10).

Joanna would’ve stood out among the disciples. She was wealthy and she was a woman. And she had so much faith in Jesus that she left the stability and security of her well-ordered life to follow him.

I’ve made a habit of blowing up my well-ordered life after prayerfully realizing I was being called to something different. I’ve left jobs I loved to pursue ministry that sustained me, and I’ve left ministries that made me feel adored and valued to accept challenging, low-paying jobs that transformed the deepest parts of my soul.

Joanna was witness to pain, agony, and brutal violence. I have been a bystander to suffering and grief. I made valentines with a dying friend; I sat at the bedsides of my children when they experienced physical and emotional pain I’ve never known; I listened calmly (while wailing on the inside) as students innocently shared stories from home, unknowingly revealing horrifying secrets that were routine to them. 

You have done these things too. Perhaps not these exact things, but in the course of simply living life as a follower of Christ, you’ve made an impact. You’ve used your resources to help spread the good news. You’ve witnessed someone’s hurt or someone has witnessed yours. Someone noticed.

Spend some time noticing Joanna or another figure in today’s gospel. What does the little bit you know about this person tell you about yourself and your relationship with Christ? What would you like to take away from your prayerful encounter with a friend of Jesus?        
 
May God’s peace be with you,
Trina Wurst

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