Monday, June 30, 2014

God is Steadfast Love

June 30: Monday of Week 13 of Ordinary Time, Year A-II:
Amos 2:6-10,13-16; Psalm 50:16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23; Matthew 8:18-22

To surrender to Jesus expressing himself through us in ministry.

“For [the] crimes of Israel… I will not revoke my word.” Amos 2:6

Today’s readings are a good transition. They both show God and Jesus in the “prophet” role, focused on the mission of witnessing to the objective truth, even when it is harsh. In Amos God warns about the consequences of sin (but still promises steadfast love: “I will not revoke my word”). In the Gospel Jesus calls those who would follow him to be realistic about what it costs. But for the next week the Gospels show Jesus in the, ministering mode of “priest,” where the focus is on nurturing and healing persons with merciful love. This is a transition we all must make. Our focus on mission as “prophets” must open to include our ministry as “priests.” These reflections will help you.

Prophets announce the Good News of liberation through a lifestyle that “raises eyebrows” by its nonconformity wth cultural values. To fulfill their mission, prophets must be willing to “break” with the culture and stand alone.

This must be balanced by the priestly focus on ministry to persons. Priests form community through mercy and acceptance, “tempering the wind to the shorn lamb.” Christians denounce sin only as friends of sinners. Otherwise we fail to “be Christ.”

Prophets need dedication to the mission of bearing witness. Priests need surrender to Jesus wanting to minister by expressing love in and through their bodies.

PRAY: “Lord, teach me to love.”

PRACTICE: Be gentle with everyone. 

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