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Browsing Reflections Archive

September 2, 2021

Daily Reflection for Thursday, September 02, 2021
 
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Thursday's readings at this link:
 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/090221.cfm 

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Colossians 1:9-14
Responsorial: Psalm 98:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 5-6
Gospel: Luke 5:1-11

Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God…  (Luke 5:1)

I am reading a book called, After Whiteness by Willie James Jennings.  In it, Jennings reflects on this passage from Luke.  He does so in such a deep way that I would like to share his insight.  Jennings writes, “People shouting, screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, calling out to Jesus, “Jesus help me …Jesus, over here.”  People being forced to press up against each other to get to Jesus, to hear him, and to get what they need from him.  People who hate each other, who would prefer not to be next to each other.  Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, rebels, insurrectionists, terrorists, murderers, tax collectors, sinners all….widows, orphans, the poor, the rich, sex workers, wonderers, magicians, musicians, thieves, gangsters, centurions, addicts, magistrates, city leaders, people from all over the Roman Empire-all pressing to hear Jesus” (pp17-18).

Jennings provides an image of a crowd that only God could bring together.  It is a crowd that desired the same thing; to be in the presence of the healing power of Jesus. Jesus was feeding the multitude through his words and miracles and the crowd, no matter how different they were from each other, were seeking him and yearning to be fed by him.

It is a startling image. When I read Jennings’ words, there is a sense of fear that overcomes me for Jesus.  All these people with so many needs are asking so much from Jesus.  It stops me in my tracks as I think about the many cries of today’s multitude of needs.  People everywhere in our world in need of so much and praying that their needs be met.  I am one of those people pressing against Jesus and desiring to be fed.

Fear overtakes me as I read this passage and think of all the needs of our world.  Yet as I read on, I feel like Jesus is telling me not to be afraid and then he invites me to play a role in responding to the many needs of our brothers and sisters. “Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”

While I know Jesus was talking to Simon Peter, I do believe he calls all of us to respond to the crowd that presses against Jesus on a daily basis.  I hear him saying clearly to me, do not be afraid and do your part in loving your neighbor.

May you recognize your neighbor standing next to you in the crowd pressing against Jesus today,

Margarita Solis Deal

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