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September 19, 2019

Lk 7: 36-50

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. 

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.” Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “Speak.” 

“A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 

Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 

Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 

But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Sinners, Show Me the Way!

Enter into today’s Gospel reading with a prayerful, imaginative contemplation.From whose perspective do you pray? The Pharisee? The sinful woman? A bystander? Jesus?

I pray this passage and want to be the sinful woman, lavishing the merciful Jesus with gifts of kindness, expensive ointment, and service. No luck. My imagination keeps placing me in the chair of the Pharisee, who has sought relationship with Jesus, maybe with ulterior motives, and who falls into the predictable paradigm of the judging, self-righteous scold. I don’t want to be there.

Yet, there must be some truth in my identifying with the Pharisee. Am I too focused on what being close to Jesus can get for me? Am I too preoccupied in my following the letter of the Commandments, the Law, the Talmud, the Magisterium?  Will I continue to force my adherence to the surface of legal or pious requirements upon every sinner in my sphere? Can I be humble enough to forget my own position and proximity to Jesus in order to celebrate. I want to be joyful like all those in Chapter 7 of Luke: the sinful one who receives God’s mercy and loves recklessly in return, the widow whose son Jesus raised from the dead, the centurion who humbly believed in Jesus’ power to heal, John the Baptist who knows Jesus as Messiah from his words and actions and not simply because Jesus proclaimed it.

Jim Broderick King is Director of Ignatian Spirituality and Formation at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado, and is a spiritual director at the Ignatian Spirituality Program of Denver.

Prayer

Jesus, thank you for being close to me. Even when I am too doctrinaire, proper, even self-righteous, you want to be close to me. Do we have room for other sinners in this relationship? I may doubt so, but you not only know that we have the room for others but even that I need the company. May the joyfully repentant sinners teach me how to be closer to you. Amen.

Jim Broderick King


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September 18, 2019

Lk 7: 31-35

“To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Like water on a sponge

How could anyone think that John the Baptist was possessed by a demon? Or that Jesus Christ was a drunkard and a glutton? It’s hard to admit, but I can remember times in my life when I felt uncomfortable or even annoyed by “holy people.” And I’m not alone. Reading this passage, I’m reminded of the preposterous things people said about St. Mother Teresa after her death. How could anyone feel anything but love for Mother Teresa? 

The Spiritual Exercises may give us some insight. Sometimes our hearts can be so hardened by sin that when we’re presented with good, evil touches our spirit “sharply and with noise and disquiet, as when the drop of water falls on the stone.” But if we are on the road to holiness, good things fall like “water on a sponge.” Is your heart more like a stone or a sponge?

—Sam Mauck is the Director of Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Memphis, which is a member of the Charis Ministries partner program.

Prayer

Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
cry out to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with a song of praise,
joyfully sing out our psalms.

For the LORD is the great God,
the great king over all gods,
whose hand holds the depths of the earth;
who owns the tops of the mountains.
The sea and dry land belong to God,
who made them, formed them by hand.

Enter, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
we are the people he shepherds,
the sheep in his hands.

Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah,
as on the day of Massah in the desert.

—Psalm 95:1-8

 


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September 17, 2019

St. Robert Bellarmine, SJ

Lk 7: 11-17

Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. 

When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 

Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Noticing those who cross our path

I cross paths with others every day, but sometimes I don’t notice them. I may be preoccupied. I may choose not to notice; they may be strangers, or I may be into my podcast, or I may simply want to be left alone. Jesus, though, reminds me that it’s good to keep my head up and notice who’s coming.

In today’s Gospel, two crowds – disciples and mourners – cross paths, and Jesus notices a woman weeping. He sees that she has no partner and no son. He sees that she is all alone. He could look past her, but that’s not Jesus. Moved with compassion, he offers her his love. By him simply noticing this woman, heis able to renew life and change the world. 

All this to say – I want to notice more. Then, perhaps I might do more for those whose paths I cross.

—Eric Immel, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Jesuits.  After six years in Chicago, he recently moved to Boston where he studies theology.

Prayer

Jesus – 

I know that you see me.
I know that when our paths cross
you take note of all the things I might be going through,
and you offer me your hand. 

As I journey onward,
help me to maintain open eyes and an open heart –
help me remember that everyone I see is worthy of love.

Amen.

—Eric Immel, SJ


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September 16, 2019

Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian

Lk 7: 1-10

After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” 

And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 

When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Humbled by an encounter with Jesus

I have to admit, I don’t love the idea of the centurion being held up as an example of great faith in God in Luke’s Gospel today. The centurion represents empire and oppression, things that Jesus fights hard against. Jesus himself is surprised to find such humility and faith from such an unlikely source.

However, Jesus’s response to the centurion’s humble plea is not an endorsement of Roman power, but rather a demonstration of the vastness of God’s power. I have to imagine that the centurion was profoundly changed by this encounter with Jesus, even though there is no evidence that they actually met one-on-one.

How can we allow our encounter with Jesus to change and humble us? At Mass we say the words “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” Do we truly believe that?

Christine Dragonette is the Director of Social Ministry at St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis.

Prayer

God our Father, in Saints Cornelius and Cyprian you have given your people an inspiring example of dedication to the pastoral ministry and constant witness to Christ in their suffering. May their prayers and faith give us courage to work for the unity of your Church. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

—Collect Prayer from today’s Mass


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September 15, 2019

Lk 15: 1-32

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 

When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. 

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 

So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 

So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. 

“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 

But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

There are sinners in heaven

The hardest part about heaven will be accepting that there are sinners there with us.

We will have to accept the presence in heaven of those who have done wrong – perhaps even great wrong – while on earth.  We will have to accept the presence of those who have done us wrong while on earth. We will have to love, and to forgive, those people.  We will have to accept that they belong in heaven because they are sinners loved and forgiven by God.

And we will have to accept that we are in heaven with those people because, like them, we too are sinners loved and forgiven by God.  We will have to be able to accept being loved, and forgiven, by those sinners. We will be in the company of those sinners, and we will be those sinners.

The hardest part about heaven will be accepting that there are other sinners there with us.

—Fr. Greg Ostdiek, SJ, is a former Navy officer who is now a Jesuit priest of the Midwest Province.  Ordained this past June, he is spending his first year after ordination studying education at Harvard.

Prayer

May the receiving of your Body and Blood,
Lord Jesus Christ,
not bring me to judgment and condemnation,
but through your loving mercy
be for me protection in mind and body
and a healing remedy.

—Fr. Greg Ostdiek, SJ


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September 14, 2019

Exaltation of the Cross

Jn 3: 13-17

No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

The gift of the cross

Today’s feast invites us to pray anew over the gift that the dying and rising of Jesus is for each of us and for our families. That gift becomes more practical to us in times of illness, loss of work, family disagreement, or other struggles. Like Jesus, you and I lurch towards understanding that these personal and community experiences of dying and rising actually become our path towards wholeness and redemption. 

Pope Francis speaks about in urging us to find that “narrow gate” which defines our personal share in the cross of Jesus. Today’s Gospel reminds us that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son….” What finer companion can I have in this journey of life than one who teaches me so personally how to meet life’s pain and sadness, as well as the hope and joy they also promise. 

Imagine you are standing before Jesus on his cross today.  Look intently into his eyes. Hand over to him your anxiety and pain. Find a place in your heart to let Jesus love you, strengthen you, and bring you hope.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

Prayer

Jesus, love of my soul, center of my heart!
Why am I not more eager
to endure pains and tribulations for love of you,
when you, my God, have suffered so many for me?

Come, then, every sort of trial in the world,
for this is my delight, to suffer for Jesus.
This is my joy, to follow my Savior,
and to find my consolation
with my consoler on the cross.

This is my happiness, this my pleasure:
to live with Jesus, to walk with Jesus,
to converse with Jesus;
to suffer with and for him,
this is my treasure.

—St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, SJ


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September 13, 2019

St. John Chrysostom

Lk 6: 39-42

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? 

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Noticing the flaws around us

Today’s Gospel is one that seems to come up regularly when I’m talking with my children.  They are quick to point out when a sibling has snuck a piece of candy, or snatched a toy away, or said something hurtful, while seeming to forget that they engaged in these same behaviors sometimes minutes earlier. I need to remind them that each of us–adults included–makes mistakes and we need to focus on our own behavior rather than someone else’s.  In my own life, though, this is something I know intellectually, but can still struggle to put into practice. How easy it is to point out the flaws of relatives, coworkers, or even public figures we have never personally met.

Jesus knows that none of us are without flaws, and offers us this reminder to look at our own blind spots before starting in on others.  What are the errors that I am quick to point out in others? When these come to mind, how can I instead turn inward and take the opportunity to change my own behavior?

—Lauren Gaffey is the Associate Director of Communications for the Midwest Jesuits and the Program Director of Charis Ministries and Jesuit Connections.

Prayer

Good and gracious God, you look upon us with a compassionate gaze, not despising us for our shortcomings.  Help us to take this same view of others, while at the same time looking within ourselves to strive to overcome our failings.  May we never be so blinded by a log in our eye that we are unable to grow in friendship with you. Amen.

—Lauren Gaffey


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September 12, 2019

Lk 6: 27-38

“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.“

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

You can’t be serious, Jesus

Take more from the many who have little.

It is not enough to mock the estranged, but tear down your closest friends as well.

Seek community in being alone…with your smartphone.

We read these farcical statements and reject them as obviously inhuman, as we should. Still, when we engage their absurdity, we can sense a kind of perverse logic that may actually ring true with our experience and observations. Hard to see? Take a moment to recognize that each paradox above is actually lived out in our world in some way in how we spend our free time, the way we form public policy, or the paths where we seek wholeness. Modern life is full of paradoxical values and advice, and we often have no hesitation embracing their strange logic.

And so, Jesus offers us a list of paradoxical statements in today’s Gospel. We know some by heart: love enemies, give your coat and your shirt as well, lend money and expect nothing in return, the Golden Rule. It is far too easy to dismiss these statements as hyperbole; “Jesus didn’t literally mean to turn the other cheek!” What if he did?

One cold, rainy night in Washington, D.C., last year, I encountered a woman without shelter and literally gave her the shirt off my back. I still had two other layers on. I think of that encounter often and ponder, “Jesus, maybe my other two layers weren’t really necessary for that woman, but I know I missed something else I could give her. Forgive me.”

Jim Broderick King is Director of Ignatian Spirituality and Formation at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado, and is a spiritual director at the Ignatian Spirituality Program of Denver.

Prayer

Jesus, you challenge me. I want to follow your words, even your greatest command. But it costs a lot and it is uncomfortable. It even seems to defy what the world is telling me. Help me wear your compassion, humility, patience, hope, peace, and love not as burdens but as signs of our closeness. Teach me to shed these garments for any who need them – the poor, the afflicted, the lonely, even my enemies. I offer you my freedom, because it is my only path to true freedom. I offer you my life, because it is my only path to eternal life. May your mercy pour forth on me even more abundantly than I have offered it to others.

—Jim Broderick King


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September 11, 2019

Col 3: 1-11

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.

But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

What is holding you down?

Imagine you are suspended in the air. In one hand, a balloon is gently pulling you up to heaven. Wrapped around your feet are a number of vines, securely rooted in the earth. Each of those vines has a name. One might be “Anger”, one “Lust”, and another “Resentment.” Today, Paul teaches us that if we are to live in Christ, we have to kill these vines. Saint Ignatius teaches us to detach ourselves from those things which keep us from our ultimate purpose. When we do, we experience the freedom to follow Christ wherever he leads and to see him in all things. Fortunately, Christ, through his death and resurrection, provides us the pruning shears to cut these oppressive vines out of our lives. What vines are holding you down? Ask Jesus for the loving grace to know their names and to rid them from your life.

—Sam Mauck is the Director of Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Memphis, which is a member of the Charis Ministries partner program.

Prayer

Prayer for Detachment

I beg of you, my Lord,
to remove anything which separates
me from you, and you from me.

Remove anything that makes me unworthy
of your sight, your control, your reprehension;
of your speech and conversation,
of your benevolence and love.

Cast from me every evil
that stands in the way of my seeing you,
hearing, tasting, savoring, and touching you;
fearing and being mindful of you;
knowing, trusting, loving, and possessing you;
being conscious of your presence
and, as far as may be, enjoying you.

This is what I ask for myself
and earnestly desire from you. Amen.

—St. Peter Faber, SJ


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September 10, 2019

Lk 6: 12-19

Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles:Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. 

He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Co-laboring with humility

It’s hard to be excluded. In spite of myself, I still feel anxious about not being invited, about getting passed by, about being forgotten. 

At some point Jesus had to look at his disciples and make some decisions. He had his reasons to name twelve Apostles; in my weaker moments, I wonder what it felt like to be one of the unchosen, equally committed but kept out of center. 

As quickly as the thought occurs, though, I remember that my pride and ego are at work. It’s not about me or what I want. It’s about the work Jesus asks of me, and the humility with which I do it. At times, that might land me in the middle of things. Most times, though, I will be called to stand quietly and witness Gospel love unfold.

—Eric Immel, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Jesuits.  After six years in Chicago, he recently moved to Boston where he studies theology.

Prayer

Let me have too deep a sense of humor to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human, most truthful,
and most worthy of your serious consideration.

—Daniel Lord, SJ


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September 19, 2019

Lk 7: 36-50

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. 

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.” Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “Speak.” 

“A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 

Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 

Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 

But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Sinners, Show Me the Way!

Enter into today’s Gospel reading with a prayerful, imaginative contemplation.From whose perspective do you pray? The Pharisee? The sinful woman? A bystander? Jesus?

I pray this passage and want to be the sinful woman, lavishing the merciful Jesus with gifts of kindness, expensive ointment, and service. No luck. My imagination keeps placing me in the chair of the Pharisee, who has sought relationship with Jesus, maybe with ulterior motives, and who falls into the predictable paradigm of the judging, self-righteous scold. I don’t want to be there.

Yet, there must be some truth in my identifying with the Pharisee. Am I too focused on what being close to Jesus can get for me? Am I too preoccupied in my following the letter of the Commandments, the Law, the Talmud, the Magisterium?  Will I continue to force my adherence to the surface of legal or pious requirements upon every sinner in my sphere? Can I be humble enough to forget my own position and proximity to Jesus in order to celebrate. I want to be joyful like all those in Chapter 7 of Luke: the sinful one who receives God’s mercy and loves recklessly in return, the widow whose son Jesus raised from the dead, the centurion who humbly believed in Jesus’ power to heal, John the Baptist who knows Jesus as Messiah from his words and actions and not simply because Jesus proclaimed it.

Jim Broderick King is Director of Ignatian Spirituality and Formation at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado, and is a spiritual director at the Ignatian Spirituality Program of Denver.

Prayer

Jesus, thank you for being close to me. Even when I am too doctrinaire, proper, even self-righteous, you want to be close to me. Do we have room for other sinners in this relationship? I may doubt so, but you not only know that we have the room for others but even that I need the company. May the joyfully repentant sinners teach me how to be closer to you. Amen.

Jim Broderick King


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September 18, 2019

Lk 7: 31-35

“To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Like water on a sponge

How could anyone think that John the Baptist was possessed by a demon? Or that Jesus Christ was a drunkard and a glutton? It’s hard to admit, but I can remember times in my life when I felt uncomfortable or even annoyed by “holy people.” And I’m not alone. Reading this passage, I’m reminded of the preposterous things people said about St. Mother Teresa after her death. How could anyone feel anything but love for Mother Teresa? 

The Spiritual Exercises may give us some insight. Sometimes our hearts can be so hardened by sin that when we’re presented with good, evil touches our spirit “sharply and with noise and disquiet, as when the drop of water falls on the stone.” But if we are on the road to holiness, good things fall like “water on a sponge.” Is your heart more like a stone or a sponge?

—Sam Mauck is the Director of Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Memphis, which is a member of the Charis Ministries partner program.

Prayer

Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
cry out to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with a song of praise,
joyfully sing out our psalms.

For the LORD is the great God,
the great king over all gods,
whose hand holds the depths of the earth;
who owns the tops of the mountains.
The sea and dry land belong to God,
who made them, formed them by hand.

Enter, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
we are the people he shepherds,
the sheep in his hands.

Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah,
as on the day of Massah in the desert.

—Psalm 95:1-8

 


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September 17, 2019

St. Robert Bellarmine, SJ

Lk 7: 11-17

Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. 

When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 

Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Noticing those who cross our path

I cross paths with others every day, but sometimes I don’t notice them. I may be preoccupied. I may choose not to notice; they may be strangers, or I may be into my podcast, or I may simply want to be left alone. Jesus, though, reminds me that it’s good to keep my head up and notice who’s coming.

In today’s Gospel, two crowds – disciples and mourners – cross paths, and Jesus notices a woman weeping. He sees that she has no partner and no son. He sees that she is all alone. He could look past her, but that’s not Jesus. Moved with compassion, he offers her his love. By him simply noticing this woman, heis able to renew life and change the world. 

All this to say – I want to notice more. Then, perhaps I might do more for those whose paths I cross.

—Eric Immel, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Jesuits.  After six years in Chicago, he recently moved to Boston where he studies theology.

Prayer

Jesus – 

I know that you see me.
I know that when our paths cross
you take note of all the things I might be going through,
and you offer me your hand. 

As I journey onward,
help me to maintain open eyes and an open heart –
help me remember that everyone I see is worthy of love.

Amen.

—Eric Immel, SJ


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September 16, 2019

Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian

Lk 7: 1-10

After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” 

And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 

When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Humbled by an encounter with Jesus

I have to admit, I don’t love the idea of the centurion being held up as an example of great faith in God in Luke’s Gospel today. The centurion represents empire and oppression, things that Jesus fights hard against. Jesus himself is surprised to find such humility and faith from such an unlikely source.

However, Jesus’s response to the centurion’s humble plea is not an endorsement of Roman power, but rather a demonstration of the vastness of God’s power. I have to imagine that the centurion was profoundly changed by this encounter with Jesus, even though there is no evidence that they actually met one-on-one.

How can we allow our encounter with Jesus to change and humble us? At Mass we say the words “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” Do we truly believe that?

Christine Dragonette is the Director of Social Ministry at St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis.

Prayer

God our Father, in Saints Cornelius and Cyprian you have given your people an inspiring example of dedication to the pastoral ministry and constant witness to Christ in their suffering. May their prayers and faith give us courage to work for the unity of your Church. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

—Collect Prayer from today’s Mass


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September 15, 2019

Lk 15: 1-32

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 

When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. 

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 

So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 

So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. 

“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 

But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

There are sinners in heaven

The hardest part about heaven will be accepting that there are sinners there with us.

We will have to accept the presence in heaven of those who have done wrong – perhaps even great wrong – while on earth.  We will have to accept the presence of those who have done us wrong while on earth. We will have to love, and to forgive, those people.  We will have to accept that they belong in heaven because they are sinners loved and forgiven by God.

And we will have to accept that we are in heaven with those people because, like them, we too are sinners loved and forgiven by God.  We will have to be able to accept being loved, and forgiven, by those sinners. We will be in the company of those sinners, and we will be those sinners.

The hardest part about heaven will be accepting that there are other sinners there with us.

—Fr. Greg Ostdiek, SJ, is a former Navy officer who is now a Jesuit priest of the Midwest Province.  Ordained this past June, he is spending his first year after ordination studying education at Harvard.

Prayer

May the receiving of your Body and Blood,
Lord Jesus Christ,
not bring me to judgment and condemnation,
but through your loving mercy
be for me protection in mind and body
and a healing remedy.

—Fr. Greg Ostdiek, SJ


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September 14, 2019

Exaltation of the Cross

Jn 3: 13-17

No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

The gift of the cross

Today’s feast invites us to pray anew over the gift that the dying and rising of Jesus is for each of us and for our families. That gift becomes more practical to us in times of illness, loss of work, family disagreement, or other struggles. Like Jesus, you and I lurch towards understanding that these personal and community experiences of dying and rising actually become our path towards wholeness and redemption. 

Pope Francis speaks about in urging us to find that “narrow gate” which defines our personal share in the cross of Jesus. Today’s Gospel reminds us that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son….” What finer companion can I have in this journey of life than one who teaches me so personally how to meet life’s pain and sadness, as well as the hope and joy they also promise. 

Imagine you are standing before Jesus on his cross today.  Look intently into his eyes. Hand over to him your anxiety and pain. Find a place in your heart to let Jesus love you, strengthen you, and bring you hope.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

Prayer

Jesus, love of my soul, center of my heart!
Why am I not more eager
to endure pains and tribulations for love of you,
when you, my God, have suffered so many for me?

Come, then, every sort of trial in the world,
for this is my delight, to suffer for Jesus.
This is my joy, to follow my Savior,
and to find my consolation
with my consoler on the cross.

This is my happiness, this my pleasure:
to live with Jesus, to walk with Jesus,
to converse with Jesus;
to suffer with and for him,
this is my treasure.

—St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, SJ


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September 13, 2019

St. John Chrysostom

Lk 6: 39-42

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? 

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Noticing the flaws around us

Today’s Gospel is one that seems to come up regularly when I’m talking with my children.  They are quick to point out when a sibling has snuck a piece of candy, or snatched a toy away, or said something hurtful, while seeming to forget that they engaged in these same behaviors sometimes minutes earlier. I need to remind them that each of us–adults included–makes mistakes and we need to focus on our own behavior rather than someone else’s.  In my own life, though, this is something I know intellectually, but can still struggle to put into practice. How easy it is to point out the flaws of relatives, coworkers, or even public figures we have never personally met.

Jesus knows that none of us are without flaws, and offers us this reminder to look at our own blind spots before starting in on others.  What are the errors that I am quick to point out in others? When these come to mind, how can I instead turn inward and take the opportunity to change my own behavior?

—Lauren Gaffey is the Associate Director of Communications for the Midwest Jesuits and the Program Director of Charis Ministries and Jesuit Connections.

Prayer

Good and gracious God, you look upon us with a compassionate gaze, not despising us for our shortcomings.  Help us to take this same view of others, while at the same time looking within ourselves to strive to overcome our failings.  May we never be so blinded by a log in our eye that we are unable to grow in friendship with you. Amen.

—Lauren Gaffey


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September 12, 2019

Lk 6: 27-38

“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.“

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

You can’t be serious, Jesus

Take more from the many who have little.

It is not enough to mock the estranged, but tear down your closest friends as well.

Seek community in being alone…with your smartphone.

We read these farcical statements and reject them as obviously inhuman, as we should. Still, when we engage their absurdity, we can sense a kind of perverse logic that may actually ring true with our experience and observations. Hard to see? Take a moment to recognize that each paradox above is actually lived out in our world in some way in how we spend our free time, the way we form public policy, or the paths where we seek wholeness. Modern life is full of paradoxical values and advice, and we often have no hesitation embracing their strange logic.

And so, Jesus offers us a list of paradoxical statements in today’s Gospel. We know some by heart: love enemies, give your coat and your shirt as well, lend money and expect nothing in return, the Golden Rule. It is far too easy to dismiss these statements as hyperbole; “Jesus didn’t literally mean to turn the other cheek!” What if he did?

One cold, rainy night in Washington, D.C., last year, I encountered a woman without shelter and literally gave her the shirt off my back. I still had two other layers on. I think of that encounter often and ponder, “Jesus, maybe my other two layers weren’t really necessary for that woman, but I know I missed something else I could give her. Forgive me.”

Jim Broderick King is Director of Ignatian Spirituality and Formation at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado, and is a spiritual director at the Ignatian Spirituality Program of Denver.

Prayer

Jesus, you challenge me. I want to follow your words, even your greatest command. But it costs a lot and it is uncomfortable. It even seems to defy what the world is telling me. Help me wear your compassion, humility, patience, hope, peace, and love not as burdens but as signs of our closeness. Teach me to shed these garments for any who need them – the poor, the afflicted, the lonely, even my enemies. I offer you my freedom, because it is my only path to true freedom. I offer you my life, because it is my only path to eternal life. May your mercy pour forth on me even more abundantly than I have offered it to others.

—Jim Broderick King


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September 11, 2019

Col 3: 1-11

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.

But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

What is holding you down?

Imagine you are suspended in the air. In one hand, a balloon is gently pulling you up to heaven. Wrapped around your feet are a number of vines, securely rooted in the earth. Each of those vines has a name. One might be “Anger”, one “Lust”, and another “Resentment.” Today, Paul teaches us that if we are to live in Christ, we have to kill these vines. Saint Ignatius teaches us to detach ourselves from those things which keep us from our ultimate purpose. When we do, we experience the freedom to follow Christ wherever he leads and to see him in all things. Fortunately, Christ, through his death and resurrection, provides us the pruning shears to cut these oppressive vines out of our lives. What vines are holding you down? Ask Jesus for the loving grace to know their names and to rid them from your life.

—Sam Mauck is the Director of Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Memphis, which is a member of the Charis Ministries partner program.

Prayer

Prayer for Detachment

I beg of you, my Lord,
to remove anything which separates
me from you, and you from me.

Remove anything that makes me unworthy
of your sight, your control, your reprehension;
of your speech and conversation,
of your benevolence and love.

Cast from me every evil
that stands in the way of my seeing you,
hearing, tasting, savoring, and touching you;
fearing and being mindful of you;
knowing, trusting, loving, and possessing you;
being conscious of your presence
and, as far as may be, enjoying you.

This is what I ask for myself
and earnestly desire from you. Amen.

—St. Peter Faber, SJ


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September 10, 2019

Lk 6: 12-19

Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles:Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. 

He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Co-laboring with humility

It’s hard to be excluded. In spite of myself, I still feel anxious about not being invited, about getting passed by, about being forgotten. 

At some point Jesus had to look at his disciples and make some decisions. He had his reasons to name twelve Apostles; in my weaker moments, I wonder what it felt like to be one of the unchosen, equally committed but kept out of center. 

As quickly as the thought occurs, though, I remember that my pride and ego are at work. It’s not about me or what I want. It’s about the work Jesus asks of me, and the humility with which I do it. At times, that might land me in the middle of things. Most times, though, I will be called to stand quietly and witness Gospel love unfold.

—Eric Immel, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Jesuits.  After six years in Chicago, he recently moved to Boston where he studies theology.

Prayer

Let me have too deep a sense of humor to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human, most truthful,
and most worthy of your serious consideration.

—Daniel Lord, SJ


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