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Jun 13, 2024

Matthew 5: 20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:

“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Jun 13, 2024

Detaching From Emotions

When I was growing up, I found Jesus’ teaching in today’s Gospel confounding. I used to think, “Maybe I can get through life without murdering someone, but Jesus is telling me that I can’t even get angry at anyone? Not even at my brother or sister?! Why is Jesus making life harder for me?” I just didn’t get it. 

Today as I read this passage, I see Jesus’ teaching as an invitation for us to live with peace and freedom. Essentially, Jesus is encouraging us to become aware of our disordered affections. Instead of walking around with unresolved anger that might lead us to speak unkindly, thus adding to our emotional burden and increasing the separation between us and our kin, Jesus is inviting us to catch the small stuff. He hopes that we will notice when we become snagged or hooked, or, to use St. Ignatius’ word, “attached,” to our emotions in such a way that we may lose our right perspective of them. When our affections and our attachments become disordered, we lose our peace and our freedom. 

So, yes. Jesus does not want us to commit murder. But why even go that far? Wouldn’t it be better to catch the small stuff and live with peace and freedom today?  

—Laura Gilmartin Hancock facilitates Urban Plunge immersion retreats through Casa Romero: A Jesuit Renewal Center, serves on the leadership team of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps of Milwaukee, and maintains a private spiritual care practice for monthly spiritual direction as well as the accompaniment of people through The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. She completed her formation to serve in this capacity through the Seminars in Ignatian Formation with the Midwest Province of Jesuits. 

Jun 13, 2024

Prayer

Jesus our Teacher, 
We know that you came to give us life 
and life more abundantly. 
Help us to recognize that you do not desire to add to our burden, 
but rather, you want to show us the way to live with peace and freedom. 
Spirit of Christ, our Teacher, 
help us to attend to our days and our interior movements. 
Help us to practice the daily Examen 
and to become more skilled at catching the small stuff. 
Lead us towards interior peace and freedom 
so that we can live in a more reconciled world. 
Amen.

—Laura Gilmartin Hancock 

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The Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intentions Brought to you by Apostleship of Prayer the first Friday of each month.

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Ignatian spirituality reminds us that God pursues us in the routines of our home and work life, and in the hopes and fears of life's challenges. The founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, created the Spiritual Exercises to deepen our relationship with Christ and to move our contemplation into service. May this prayer site anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters.





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