Scripture Reflection . . .
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: 2 Kings 4-11;14-16
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 89 “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.”
Second Reading:Romans 6:3-4;8-11
Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42
In today’s First Reading a woman and her husband provide hospitality to the prophet Elisha. Yesterday’s Scripture from Genesis (18:1-15) was about Abraham providing hospitality to three strangers. Coincidentally the woman and Abraham’s wife, Sarah, are both promised sons in return for the kindness extended.
In Matthew’s Gospel today Jesus speaks of the generous heart required of those who follow him; love that holds on to nothing or no one but is willing to give to those in need, even if it is just a glass of water.
Simple gestures: a welcome, a meal, a glass of water.
I am reminded of a description of our Congregation’s spirituality and mission that I recently came across in a booklet. It reads, “The Sisters aim ‘To be an instrument of God’s mercy through simple gestures which soothe and comfort the body while at the same time calming the soul by the attention and presence they provide to those who are overwhelmed, and the way they are attentive and respectful to those in any kind of distress.’
Paul’s Letter to the Roman’s sent my thoughts to his Letter to the Galatians (2:20) “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” These words were significant to our foundress, Mother Alphonse Maria, and thus our Congregation since the beginning over 160 years ago.
When we allow Christ to live and work in us the simple gestures of hospitality and compassion come forth naturally.
In Our Lives as Sisters of The Holy Redeemer . . .
The simple gestures we noticed this past week include:
The “Welcome Home” sign on a Sister’s door as she returned home from her annual retreat.
Our presence at the funeral of the sister of one of our Sisters. We are family to each other and seek to be with one another in joyful and sorrowful times.
A helping hand when one of our dairy goats had her first set of twins.
Showing our appreciation for the many individuals and families who participate in our community garden by joining in a garden social.
Welcoming individuals as they moved into the new group home just next door to us.
Sharing responsibilities so a few Sisters could take a short but much appreciated vacation.
Seeking to be present to the people we encounter in our ministries each day.
In Your Life . . .
So, how do we allow Christ to live and act in and through us?
Perhaps you will want to reflect on these questions for yourself:
How do I make space for God in your life?
In what ways can I share God’s hospitality with another this week?
Here are also a few suggestions that you may want to pray with:
Take time to be still.
Notice what you notice.
Reflect on your image of God. The God of love & mercy is much easier to invite into our lives then a demanding, judgmental or distant God.
Notice how you make choices. Do you seek God’s guidance and listen to your heart?
Recall what has moved you to compassion?
Reflect on a time you let go of your plans to be present to another.
Participate in volunteer or service activities.
Most of the time life experiences and faith form us. Sometimes these are extremely painful or difficult situations, sometimes they are moments of joy & gratitude and sometimes they are ordinary moments in which we are keenly aware of God’s love and presence.
Blessings on your week!