Reflection for August 18, 2013
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
Second Reading: Hebrews 12:1-4
Gospel: Luke 12:49-53
It’s true! In my struggle against sin, I have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. Jeremiah the prophet was already in prison at the time of today’s reading, but it got worse. For continuing to urge repentance, he was thrown into a muddy cistern–without food. Jesus had fasted in the desert, preached and performed miracles, but he predicts dire troubles for his future. This does not sound like Good News. The question these holy Scriptures pose is this: Have I resisted the call to run the race at all? Am I just stumbling and mumbling or am I actively resisting the pull of casual, careless faith? This struggle is going to cause trouble ahead, if not actual bloodshed. These Scriptures are a call to stand up and be counted, counted ready to follow the challenge of discipleship.
Jesus, I want to fix my eyes on you, the leader and perfecter of my faith. Help me to be willing to bear pain for the privilege of calling myself a believer. Keep me from weariness and loss of heart for the challenges that lie ahead, even today. I wish to train as a spiritual athlete, to be faithful in the disciplines the marathon of life will require of me. My eyes are on the prize. Help me, Lord God. For this I pray. Amen.
Carol Ann Morrow, Associate