October 28, 2018 by Juanita Harding, Notre Dame Associate
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark, 10:46-52
In today’s gospel the word “call” is used several times. The blind man, Bartimaeus, calls out to Jesus saying, “Jesus, son of David have pity on me.” The crowd tells the blind man to be silent, but he calls out all the more, “Jesus, son of David have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, get up, Jesus is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and chose to follow Jesus on the way.
I asked myself, do I listen for God’s call? I call on Him through prayer, prayers for guidance, for help in many ways. But, do I truly listen for His call to me? What is He calling me to do?
My prayer today is for Him to open my eyes to the needs of others, and to open my ears to His call to serve in all ways possible.
Gospel: Mark 10:35-45
This Sunday’s gospel is one of those gospels that turns life upside down. Here we have two apostles seeking the “prized places” in heaven for being faithful followers. That’s probably what most people would want—some fame, glory and honor for the good they’ve done. However, when engaging in conversation with Jesus, James and John find out that power, fame and glory are certainly not a concern with Jesus. Jesus’ life is about service and sacrificing one’s life for others. That must have certainly upset and jarred their view of following Jesus.
It seems the gospel call of this week challenges us to upset some of the values strongly promoted in our society – values such as having power or control, being the best or greatest, acquiring more and more wealth or influence. One may need to take time to examine these. Questions one might ponder:
Reflection for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time…October 14, 2018 by Kathy Schinker, Notre Dame Associate
What a rich selection of readings. First to seek and to be given wisdom reminds me of the Serenity Prayer asking for serenity in acceptance, courage, and wisdom.
In the second reading, it is very clear that we are “naked and exposed” to the eyes of God to whom we must render an account.
Then we are reminded in the gospel that choices have consequences. I don’t want to go “away” sad because I won’t share. We may not have material wealth but we are asked to give what we have. Was the rich man afraid of giving all his wealth away? Do I have the same fear? We are being invited by Jesus to deeply believe that “all things are possible for God”. I pray for the wisdom and generosity to be able to share all my “riches”, large or small with others in loving service.
by Cathy ( Notre Dame Associate) & Gary Leak
We all have the same origin … our Lord God. God created Adam then Eve because God knew that man was incomplete. Eve came from Adam showing us how close man and women should be. They are to cling to one another, be fruitful and multiply. Their children are gifts from God and from each other. God welcomed children into His arms and said that we all must walk in His ways and accept the Kingdom of God with the dependence and obedience on God as a child would.
To make all this possible God sent His only Son to us as an infant and then into adulthood in order to live a genuine human life like ours. He then experienced suffering and death for us so that we can achieve salvation and return to God. This is Jesus gift of salvation for us.
So how grateful or blessed are you for your life? Your spouse? Your children? Salvation?
We can achieve salvation by following His ways, and loving one another as He loves us.
The readings of this Sunday seem to speak to the challenging questions of “Who is Jesus, the Just One, for me? How do I truly develop and live Jesus’ values and approach to life? ”
The reading from Wisdom reminds us that the Just One will experience rejection, alienation and condemnation. Do I really want to experience rejection and condemnation for the call to work for justice and living Jesus’ beliefs in accepting and including the poor, alienated and forgotten?
In the gospel Jesus foretells the coming of his suffering and death. However, the apostles are more concerned about their status of greatness and oblivious to Jesus’ call to be a servant to others, to be like a child, vulnerable and dependent upon God, trusting God’s strengthening, loving care. In what ways am I called to be a loving servant to others, to stand up, speak out against injustices in our world which may cause some suffering and isolation in my own life?
The reading from the letter of James reminds us that in dealing with the tensions of life, we need the “wisdom from above that is peaceable, gentle, full of mercy and good fruits.” Do I sincerely live the virtues of peacefulness, gentleness, full of mercy and good fruits? What spirit and attitude do I bring to others each day?
We are invited to be God’s Just Ones, so desperately needed in our world today, bringing hope, peace, comfort, healing and justice to our hurting world. May we truly believe in the Spirit and power of God working in and through us. May we go forth with courage, wisdom and joy this coming week!
Reflection for the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time...September 16, 2018 by Cindy Wenninghoff, Notre Dame Associate
“Who do you say that I am?” This week’s readings are taking us on another step in our journey of faith. In Isaiah it is our personal journey with God and accepting who He is. God has opened our ears to Him, heard our cries, and has asked us to express faith in our actions to others by loving one another. It will not be easy, there will be suffering for believing in Him and there will be sacrifice as we learn to love one another.
Then In the reading from James, as Jesus asks “Who do you say that I am”, our faith has revealed he is God. But then Peter in his concern, tells Jesus that he shouldn’t have to suffer so greatly in his faith. Jesus silences him quickly as we cannot lose our relationship with God – we must take up our cross and follow Him. The world wants to draw our focus to our own physical world and comforts. It cannot be – our walk is with the Lord, and He will pick us up when we fall, hear our prayers, take away our worries, give us joy in life, and free us from death.
by Linda Cernik, Notre Dame Associate
In Sunday's gospel, Jesus fulfills Isaiah's prophecy that the Messiah will make the deaf hear and the mute speak. Jesus really shows us that He is God in the flesh. Jesus put His finger into the deaf man's ears and spat on and touched the mute's tongue.
Our hope is that our eyes will be opened to the Word of God and our tongues sing His praises always.
"He has done all things well....."
In today’s Gospel passage Jesus teaches us the meaning of true worship. We truly worship Him by giving Him our hearts. He wants our hearts connected to His heart. Our Lord wants a strong and personal relationship with us.
We also learn what Jesus doesn’t want. That is lip service like that of the scribes and Pharisees. “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me.” The scribes and Pharisees perform daily rituals. However, they are just going through the motions. Their hearts are closed. They do not allow God to change them. Their worship is meaningless.
The letter from St. James reinforces the meaning of true worship. “Be doers of the word and not hearers only…” In other words, actions speak louder than words. Reaching out to and caring for the most vulnerable of those around us is true worship.
Now the question is are we really giving our hearts to the Lord or are we merely giving Him our lip service? We are called to commit our hearts to Him each and every day. It is essential that we thoroughly examine our lives. Do our actions reflect a life that honors Him? When they do, we are offering true worship.
Reflection for the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time…August 26, 2018 by Sr Marie Alice Ostry, ND
The readings this Sunday are very straight forward. Joshua calls the people to make their choice as to which gods or God they will follow. He gives examples of the many gods which are about in their culture. Yet in the end Joshua says “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” and leaves the decision to all the others whom they will follow.
In the Gospel Jesus does a parallel offer to the Twelve “Do you also want to leave?” We know Peter’s answer as he answers for the Twelve. What I am left with is “what is my response to Jesus” as I meditate this week-end.
I ponder what are the “gods” of our culture that “invade” our service of God, of living out the Gospel call?
St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (today’s second reading) seems to be a perfect recipe for genuine happiness. He writes, “Brothers and sisters, watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of opportunities….” He goes on to say, “Be filled with the Spirit, praying psalms, singing songs, and giving thanks always and for everything.”
At times we experience grief, sickness, misunderstandings, and worry, difficult times. We may wonder how we are supposed to give thanks always and for everything. St Paul also writes, “Try to understand what is the will of the Lord.” Our Lord does not WILL that we experience difficult times but rather that we turn to Him and know that He will never abandon us. It is good to remember what St Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians: “Do not lose heart, for the things that are seen are transient but the things that are often unseen are eternal.” Small momentary afflictions are preparing us for an eternal glory beyond all comparison.