<TW>Weekend of 17 and 18 October 2009
- From: "Fr. Pat Umberger" <frpat@xxxxxxxxx>
- To: "Fr. Pat Umberger" <frpat@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2009 10:39:16 -0500
.=: T H I S W E E K E N D :=. from Father Pat Umberger __________________________________________________ .=: V O L U M E 2 0 0 9 , Number 10-18 :=. .=: T H I S W E E K E N D ' S S C R I P T U R E S :=. The Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. Weekend of 17 and 18 October 2009 .=: R E F L E C T I O N Q U E S T I O N S :-. "If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him." Jesus gave his live as such an offering. How can we help accomplish the Lord's will using the love and power Jesus gave us through his death and resurrection? "Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you." What does it mean to place our trust in the Lord? Why is this difficult? Where do we find it easier to place our trust? "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin." How does Jesus sympathize with our weaknesses? How does he understand the temptations we face? How can he most love us through our weakness to a new way of living? He replied, "What do you wish me to do for you?" They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." How is this presumptuous? How does God want us to be people deserving of honor? Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" They said to him, "We can." The sons of Zebedee seemed quite naïve about the kind of sacrifice they'd be called to make. They expressed easy assent. When have we found it more difficult to follow through with our commitments than we first imagined? What has helped us to remain faithful? Was it a promised reward? Was it love? "Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all." How have we learned this? Who do we value the most in life ... those who have positions of honor or those who are available to us and willing to loving serve our needs? How are these Scriptures comforting? Challenging? .=: S P I R I T U A L R E F L E C T I O N :=. Sometimes we can admire the families of those who are very affluent and somehow seem more important. We can imagine having a parent who is a rock star or professional athlete. We can dream about living in huge mansions with lots of servants. We can want that kind of fame for ourselves as well. What would it be like to have people constantly poised to take pictures of us and even ask our autograph? Statistics tell us that depression and desperation are even more common in the families of the affluent and famous than they are in the homes of simpler folk like us. Children are commonly raised by servants. Busy schedules make it difficult to spend time together. Someone always seems to be demanding attention. It's much harder to give time, attention and love to their families. The rich and famous can become so enamored of themselves that they find it hard to be at all committed to those who care about them. In today's Gospel James and John, the sons of Zebedee try to get Jesus to favor them. Their request for a seat of honor in God's kingdom can be seen as a request for special favor right then as well. Their request was likely motivated by their enthusiastic faith. Jesus needs to remind them that it is not proper to work to attain a place of honor. Jesus knows that those who were considered most important in the world were not very important at all in the eyes of those around them. Their position often led to their arranging for their own needs to be met. They weren't the kind of folk who would sit an listen. They weren't the kind who would get their hands dirty in helping others. They had people to do such things for them. Most of us would have to admit that those who are seen by the world to be important, rich or famous are not the ones who have made the most positive impact in our lives. Those who listen to us make such an impact. Those who are there to love us and help meet our needs are the ones who are the most important. They don't demand reward. Their reward comes from simply giving what they've been given out of love. Jesus knew that his disciples were often influenced by the values of the world. Jesus himself was tempted to seek power, riches and influence as the powerful in the world did. He didn't fall to that temptation. This weekend's readings are a reminder to all of us that such things don't bring happiness and fulfillment. They certainly don't guarantee us a place in heaven. As Jesus reminded his disciples, "Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all." This week we can consider our own desire for wealth and fame. We can be honest as we ponder ways that we try to arrange things for ourselves at the expense of others. We can reflect upon these words of Jesus, "Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all." Have a good week! (c)MMIX Fr. Pat Umberger. This Spiritual Reflection is found each week at the Web Site www.frpat.com. Feel free to link to this page or reproduce them for parish use as long as this credit remains. __________________________________________________ <TW>This Weekend is free, and comes from: Father Pat Umberger, a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse in Wisconsin U.S.A. Web Site: www.frpat.com Evangelization (reaching out): www.cmonback.com .=: M A K E A D O N A T I O N ? :=. www.frpat.com/donation.htm .=: F O R W A R D I N G :=. Please leave these credits when doing so. .=: C H A N G E Y O U R S U B S C R I P T I O N :=. Unsubscribe from your old address before you subscribe with your new address. Use this link: www.frpat.com/morningprayer.htm#mp You can also set your account to Vacation Mode there.
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