Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 1/24

I am an occasional contributor to Give Us This Day, a daily prayer publication from Liturgical Press.  My most recent reflection piece was for Saturday, January 21 and is based on the gospel passage from Saturday's Mass where Jesus' relatives say, "He's out of his mind!"  I offer it here, followed by a few points to help us Pause for Prayer...

It’s not unusual to want to imitate Jesus as merciful, compassionate, and generously self-giving, but how many of us look to imitate what some of Jesus’ contemporaries considered to be his craziness? This wasn’t a group of passersby but Jesus’ own family who thought him to be out of his mind—the very folks we might presume to have known him best.

What might have led them to this diagnosis?  Well, he was the one who instructed us to: love our enemies; do good to those who hate us; bless those who curse us; pray for those who mistreat us; turn our cheek to be slapped on the other side; to give to all who ask of us; and not to seek the return of what others have taken from us . . .  (Luke 6:27-30)

In the general intercessions each weekend my parish prays “for an end to war and for our enemies.”  On more than one occasion I’ve been asked if it’s a smart thing to pray for our enemies. I point out that Jesus directly instructed us to do just this, but some find it hard to believe he really meant it.  Of course, the Scriptures note no exemptions when it comes to loving one’s enemies precisely because God’s merciful love exempts no one.

Loving one’s enemies begins at home, at work, in the neighborhood, and in our parishes.  Let’s pray for the day when we’re so faithful to Jesus that others might think we’re out of our mind.

- Jesus is so clear in what he says here...  Has his clarity touched my heart, my behavior, my conscience?

- Are there people in my life or in the world around me whom I treat as exempt from my responsibility to love my enemy?

- Am I crazy in love with God - enough to live as Jesus enjoins me here?

Let us pray...

in this crazy world of ours
let my love for others, near and far,
be half as crazy as your love for me:
freely forgiving;
humble and gracious,
unselfish and generous;
ungrudging and unconditional.
May my love for you and for others
cause at least a few to tell me:
"I think you're out of your mind!"



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1 comment:

  1. beautiful reflection. thank you.


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