Thursday, January 12, 2017

Reflection for the 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Part 2

Thursday – Enthusiastic Disobedience

The man couldn't help it. He couldn't keep quiet. After all, he had just been healed of leprosy. Jesus had given him his life back. He could now return to his family. He could work again and worship again. He could be part of his community, and he was free of a horrible, painful disease. How could he not talk about it?

Of course, he remembered that Jesus had told him not to say anything to anyone, but He couldn't have really meant it. Right?

What the man didn't realize was the effect that his enthusiastic disobedience would have on Jesus. He could no longer enter a town openly without people flocking to Him and creating a disturbance, so He had to remain in deserted places. Even there, people came in droves, seeking solutions to their problems and hoping for a miracle akin to the one that happened to the former leper. The trouble was, however, that these people were now seeking something far more than Someone.

Friday – Rest

In today's first reading, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews tells us to strive to enter into God's rest. What is this rest? Does it refer only to our future Heavenly home, or is it something we can experience, at least in part, right now?

I would argue the latter. We can begin to enter into God's rest even in our earthly lives because we can access God's grace and open ourselves to receive His indwelling presence.

What does God's rest look and feel like when we enter into it here in this world? When we begin to live in God's rest, we experience greater peace. We give our worries and cares over to God and trust Him to take care of us. We immerse ourselves in God's will and set aside our own preferences, knowing that He can see much farther than we can. We place ourselves and our loved ones in God's hands and allow Him to work out His plan. We let faith, hope, and love be active in our lives. We pray frequently and devoutly, firmly believing that God hears and answers all of our prayers in the best possible way. We let go of ourselves and focus completely on God.

None of this is easy, of course. We humans like to be in control, and we like to have things our own way. But God gives us His grace to guide us into His rest. We must simply ask for it and be open to accept it.

Lord, lead us into Your rest. Help us let go of our worries and wills, our stubbornness and frets. Give us the grace to surrender ourselves to You that we may embrace Your peace and Your love. Amen.

Saturday – Confidence

Lord Jesus, give us confidence in Your love.
Lord Jesus, give us confidence in Your mercy.
Lord Jesus, give us confidence in Your grace.
Lord Jesus, give us confidence in Your care.
Lord Jesus, give us confidence in Your knowledge.
Lord Jesus, give us confidence in Your Word.
Lord Jesus, give us confidence in Your help.
Lord Jesus, give us confidence in Your consolation.
Lord Jesus, give us confidence in Your salvation.
Lord Jesus, give us confidence in You.

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