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October 01, 2020

St. Teresa of the Child Jesus

Lk 10: 1-12 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way.  See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house.  Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town. 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.    

We can’t be all things to all people

Jesus tells his disciples to be teachers and healers, but he does not expect us to teach or heal everyone. Offer peace; if it is refused, “it will return to you.” If you try to help someone and are rebuffed, then shake the dust from your sandals and move on. You have a gift to offer, but in today’s Gospel Jesus encourages us to be careful not to waste that gift on those unwilling to receive it.  

Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, advises us, “if you’re depleted, you’re doing it wrong.” How easy it is to over-extend ourselves or convince ourselves that people need us. What we might rationalize as generosity or dedication might actually reflect a failure to establish the boundaries necessary for self-care and sabbath rest. If we want to be people of deep courage and compassion, we have to be good stewards of how we invest our emotional energy.  

God does not expect us to be all things to all people, just to do the good we can – no more and no less. How might that help you recalibrate your expectations for yourself and others today?  

Marcus Mescher is associate professor of Christian ethics at Xavier University in Cincinnati, a graduate of Marquette University High School, Marquette University, and Boston College; he is also the author of The Ethics of Encounter: Christian Neighbor Love as a Practice of Solidarity (Orbis, 2020).  

Prayer

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master
builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own. 

Amen.  

—Written by Bishop Ken Untener, often attributed to St. Oscar Romero


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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October 01, 2020

St. Teresa of the Child Jesus

Lk 10: 1-12 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way.  See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house.  Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town. 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.    

We can’t be all things to all people

Jesus tells his disciples to be teachers and healers, but he does not expect us to teach or heal everyone. Offer peace; if it is refused, “it will return to you.” If you try to help someone and are rebuffed, then shake the dust from your sandals and move on. You have a gift to offer, but in today’s Gospel Jesus encourages us to be careful not to waste that gift on those unwilling to receive it.  

Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, advises us, “if you’re depleted, you’re doing it wrong.” How easy it is to over-extend ourselves or convince ourselves that people need us. What we might rationalize as generosity or dedication might actually reflect a failure to establish the boundaries necessary for self-care and sabbath rest. If we want to be people of deep courage and compassion, we have to be good stewards of how we invest our emotional energy.  

God does not expect us to be all things to all people, just to do the good we can – no more and no less. How might that help you recalibrate your expectations for yourself and others today?  

Marcus Mescher is associate professor of Christian ethics at Xavier University in Cincinnati, a graduate of Marquette University High School, Marquette University, and Boston College; he is also the author of The Ethics of Encounter: Christian Neighbor Love as a Practice of Solidarity (Orbis, 2020).  

Prayer

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master
builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own. 

Amen.  

—Written by Bishop Ken Untener, often attributed to St. Oscar Romero


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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