Daily Reflection – Feb 11, 2016
Thursday 11 February 2016
First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Happy are they who hope in the Lord
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Gospel Reading: Luke 9:22-25
Today’s Note: Thursday after Ash Wednesday, World Day of the Sick
Today’s Feast: Our Lady of Lourdes
Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”
Although there are no special readings for this feast, but because so much of our world is sick physically or sick at heart, and because this Lent we (the church) will be serving in the field hospital (the church) we can look at both readings through that lens. Solomon’s heart was not “true” or faithful, and he turned to idols. God promised him a divided kingdom as his punishment. Jesus’ mind and heart seems to have been bent, as all of us are bent, by a culture that is unexamined – for Jesus, the xenophobic culture of Galilee and for us, what is purveyed by the media. Surely Mary and Joseph never taught Jesus to call Gentiles “dogs,” and yet in this passage he does. His culture has infiltrated his mind. The woman is so focused on her demon-possessed daughter that she accepts the slur and asks for crumbs. Jesus’ consciousness is raised. “For saying that…” He who calls us to conversion, in this passage is himself converted.
Ask the Spirit to show you where you might harbor unconscious prejudice, and to bring it to mind. Look at it with Jesus. Ask for healing for anything that feels like your own sickness of heart and mind, and ask for that openness that Jesus learned to extend. Pray for the sick of the world, especially those without care—in war zones, in refugee camps, on our own city streets.
Ave Maria! Mary, we beg you to comfort the sick wherever you find them. Help us to remember their vicious pain and deep loneliness when we begin to complain.