Thursday, January 26, 2017

Reflection for the 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Part 2

Thursday – Measures

In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us, “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you...”

This ought to prod us to ask ourselves some questions about what kind of measure we're using.

Do we use the measure of love or the measure of apathy? Note that love here means willing the absolute best for another person and trying to help him or her attain that absolute best. It is not mere emotion or fluffy good feelings. It is not always affirmation. Sometimes the best way to love people is to tell them they're on the wrong path and to refuse to support their journey along that path. Apathy here is simply not caring; it is more of an opposite to love than hate will ever be.

Do we use the measure of generosity or the measure of selfishness? Do our hands open out to others or clutch tightly to what is ours?

Do we use the measure of forgiveness or the measure of grudges? Jesus once told His disciples that they should forgive seven times seventy times. He meant that to apply to us, too. We who seek forgiveness ought to be quick to give it.

So which measures do we use day to day? We must all remember Jesus' words: “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you...”

Friday – Endurance

“You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what He has promised.”

Lord, grant me endurance in times of suffering and hardship.
Lord, grant me endurance to carry out Your will day by day.
Lord, grant me endurance to obey Your moral law.
Lord, grant me endurance to persevere in prayer.
Lord, grant me endurance to love even when it is difficult.
Lord, grant me endurance to walk the path You have set out for me no matter where it leads.
Lord, grant me endurance to remain close to You always.
Lord, grant me endurance to make it all the way home to Heaven.

Saturday – The Response of Faith

Today's readings focus on faith, “the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”

Abraham had great faith. When God told Abraham to leave his homeland and set out for a country he didn't know, he went. When God told Abraham that his descendants would be like the stars in the sky, he believed even though he and Sarah had no children yet. When God told Abraham to sacrifice his dear son, Isaac, the heir to all God's promises, he took a knife and his son and headed up the mount of sacrifice, believing that God would either stop him or even go so far as to raise Isaac from the dead. Abraham must have questioned sometimes. Perhaps he even doubted now and then. But his choices always came down on the side of faith.

The disciples in the Gospel, however, lacked Abraham's faith. Jesus was sound asleep when the wind came up and threatened to capsize their boat. They became so terrified that they began to despair, positive that they would die at any moment. They screamed at Jesus to wake up: “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” But of course Jesus cared, and they weren't really perishing. With a word, Jesus calmed the wind and the sea. Then He turned to the disciples and asked, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” We don't get their answer, but it would have to have been an honest no.

Today, then, as we reflect on faith, we must ask ourselves whether our response is more like that of Abraham or more like that of the disciples.

Lord, increase our faith. Amen.

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