Monday, September 1, 2014
Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.’
‘... And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.” (LUKE 4:16-19, 22))
Today’s reading in 1 Corinthians opens with the Apostle sharing how his non-awe-inspiring message yielded really good results, while in the above closing reading, Jesus shared a message that initially impressed and then totally infuriated his audience. So what do these two instances have in common?
We all are impressed by people who can express themselves in outstanding ways: celebrities, authors, leaders and musicians.We cheer at the “impact” gracious, sublime words have on our outlook and attitude. The question is, though, how much of what we are hearing from friends, family, celebrities … or God, winds up making a real, lasting difference in our life?
The word, “impact” has more than one definition. The first is to change or benefit, but the second has to do with being wedged tightly and prevented from doing any good (such as an impacted wisdom tooth). The determiner on whether words are getting in or just “impacting on the surface” of our life is, believe it or not, suffering and need; something many of us and our Avera clients experience every day.
Although it is humbling to suffer or be in need, it also has the benefit of softening a hard heart, sprouting compassion for others, or changing an outlook of “no thanks, I’m good” to “thank you.”
O God of all compassion,
Help us to turn to You as we encounter humbling things
That we will become the men and women You intend
As You talk us through our day.
In Jesus’ Name.
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1 CORINTHIANS 2:1-5 • PSALM 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102• LUKE 4:16-30