Monday, March 5, 2012

Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent - 2012

"All their [Pharisees and Scribes] works are performed to be seen."

Throughout our Lenten journey, God will make his intention for us made to us in and through events and people.  We simply need to listen for the "voice" of the Holy Spirit in our hearts after we have listen to Jesus speaking to us in Scripture and God the Father whispering in our ears.

Considering the words taken from today's gospel, I look to all the goodness that has been extended to me throughout my life, especially during the years of my seminarian life and then life as a priest.  Through those almost forty-years of priestly service to the people of God and my 13 years of formation, my life has been graced by God and his people with an abundance of kindness and concern.  There have been so many who have touched my life and my ministry by giving of the time, talent and treasure to help me in whatever work I might have been involved in.  To be honest, at times being so generously cared for has been embarrassing.  I know quite well there a several thousand faithful followers of Jesus who have assisted me in my life and ministries.  Never once have I felt that the extended gift was being made in order to gain privilege or special advantage by any of these generous individuals.  

As far as I am personally concerned, I know that I would never have had the talent or treasure to reach back to assist in their needs when it was needed.  But I know that my gift to these folks are words of thanks and serious prayer for them and their needs.  My measuring stick to determine if I am being as generous to these folks is made clearer to me when I examine my own spiritual life.  Am I praying as I should?  Am I making a conscious effort to incorporate all those who have helped me in my daily prayers?

One of the thoughts that came to me during my prayer time this morning is one that I would invite you to include in your prayer life every so often:  a reading of the complete Sermon on the Mount.  It is in that "sermon" that Jesus is telling us how the Father wants each of us to life.  I realized this morning that I have not given as much time to that sermon as I should.  There in the two chapters of the Gospel are the keys to the service God expects of me for my sisters and brothers who have help me and who continue to pray for me.  And you? what does this concluding part of the Sermon on the Mount speak to you?