Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Sunday, August 14, 2016

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Stay Focused

With the crazy flooding in Louisiana, did anyone else think it was fitting that the 1st Reading was about Jeremiah being thrown into the cistern, but there was only mud? Please remember all those dealing with this life-changing flood in your prayers.
This Gospel (Luke 12:49-53) foretold what we all go through at one time or another: people are going to say things about our faith; some will back off from our friendship because of how we live our faith. But, we shouldn't back down from our faith just because some people don't understand or don't approve. We have to look to Jesus and stay strong. We have to stay focused. Jesus knew that he was going to stir things up; even within families there would be believers and the doubters. The reflection from ePriest said that His message and mission are more important that family ties. When someone is talking about you behind your back, or treating you differently because of your belief, ePriest encourages us to ask for God's grace to show those people mercy. I've heard it said if you pray for those people, you will treat them with kindness. 
The reflection from USCCB gave me some insight to the history of the gospel. During Luke's time, women probably played an important role in the early church. Isn't the same true today? Why is it that it seems that more women than men are involved with the church? It does seem that women are more forthcoming with their Christianity than men. The women are more likely to bring their faith into the light, while the men seem to keep theirs hidden. So, today's Gospel still holds true today. We see (or, at least I do) in our own families that we have siblings and even children who aren't practicing the faith. We may have family members who may ridicule us for practicing our faith. The other day, Jennifer Fulwiler had a guest on her show (I don't remember who it was), and they were talking about how they're known among their friends as  "the religious friend" or the "crazy Catholic friend". Is that a bad thing? 
We know people who say they don't think they have to go to church; they can go somewhere (mountains, beach) and be close to God. As the priest said during his Homily, we are obligated to be a holy people...ALL of us. As Catholics, that means going to Mass and taking the Eucharist out into the world. The priest said that the world tells us we should be the center of our own world, but Jesus calls us to center our life on Him who is our life. 
As he said this, I thought about how it was so much easier to be focused on living faithfully during the summer when my schedule consisted of daily morning prayer, reading the day's Readings, morning Rosary, followed by Daily Mass. I was able to go home after that & really focus on being that faithful person. Now that I'm back at work and back in the "real world", it's much harder. I have trouble remembering who He wants me to be; I'm having trouble showing that mercy to people who probably need it the most. I'm falling back into my "old ways"; ways that made me feel, quite honestly, like crap. I need to refocus and keep my eyes on Jesus. If I do that, no one could doubt that I am living my faith. I will take my faith out of hiding, bringing it out of the light...even if that means getting burned.

3 comments:

  1. You know Mary, it seems to be even harder in this day and age to profess our faith "out in the world" and not be ridiculed. I have trouble even understanding how any Christian can close their eyes to politics and the horror in our world today and not stand up for what is right and good. I'm not perfect either, but I can't vote for a politician who thinks abortion isn't murder. I can't understand how any Christian can believe abortion is okay. I remember being dressed down royally once when I asked a Catholic acquaintance how she could be Catholic and still vote for a certain politician. I just tend to be more quiet about it now and that isn't right either.

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  2. Wonderful post. I love reading about what you've gleaned from the readings and homilies.

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  3. Ugh, isn't it the truth that it's so easy and tempting to fall back into old patterns when they don't even make you feel good? Why is that?

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