Reflection: Tuesday of the 1st Week

Mass: Tuesday, January 12, 2010
First Reading: 1 Sm 1:9-20
Responsorial Psalm: 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd
Gospel: Mk 1:21-28

Two stories. Two characters — both misunderstood.

In the first reading, we follow the saga of Hannah, the barren wife of Elkanah, who goes to the temple to pray, only to be accused by a priest of being drunk!

In the Gospel, Jesus begins his ministry, impresses listeners and casts out unclean spirits, yet, eventually, is rejected and condemned by religious leaders.

So, what can these readings teach us about our faith? Perhaps, the more appropriate question is:

What are some areas in our lives where we fail to seek understanding before passing judgment? Where we determine what is right or wrong without being open to other possibilities?

As people of “faith,” when we pray, the words we say reflect a disposition of openness that allows the mystery of God’s presence to pervade all aspects of our lives.

While it’s a good thing to be self-confident in knowing what is “right” and “wrong,” we need to remember that we must remain open to the possibility that we might not know everything! That, somehow, God might be working through those situations which we find as contradictory or might not make sense.

Perhaps those are those moments we are called to grow in faith.

Why a message like this at the start of a new year? Perhaps it’s an appropriate time so that we remember to be open to all of the moments of potential growth that we will encounter in this calendar year.

It is this attitude of openness that will determine how we respond to opportunities for personal and spiritual growth, how we live our life in common, how we negotiate the healthy tension of living a vowed life and, perhaps most appropriate in this point of history in the Society of Mary, how we view the strategic plan as a way to move into the future.

As we continue our Eucharist and begin our day in ministry, let us pray that we respond with openness in understanding signs of contraction in our lives as a way to grow in faith.

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