Brief reflections on the week’s Scripture
Trinity, Week of June
“Brothers and sisters: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions,
knowing that affliction produces endurance,
and endurance, proven character,
and proven character, hope,
and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
Now that we enter Ordinary Time again, we return to the “Come and See “
format until Advent.)
Pondering the Word …
Paul tells us we have peace and hope from the grace gained through faith in
Christ and blessings of the Holy Spirit. He goes on to tell us grace is
strengthened through our afflictions and our willingness to endure our
afflictions, which in turn, build in us a stronger, more resilient character
filled with hope.
Faith and the Spirit lead to Grace, and from Grace we have Peace. So if I’m
not at peace, what am I missing?
Living the Word…
need to look at the equation to see where I might be taking short cuts or
even missing a step. As I do, I can see where I need some more work:
Faith in Jesus: I claim it and, for the most part, I rely on Jesus in my own
life, although (clue #1) I can’t say I always believe Jesus will make all
things new, particularly when it comes to the world and all its problems.
The blessings of the Holy Spirit: I feel the Spirit’s presence always,
although (clue #2), I can fail to be aware of the blessing of that presence,
particularly when it’s wrapped in a difficult package, such as affliction.
Grace: Oh, I always believe in God’s grace, although (clue #3), I’m not sure
I always have my grounding there. Do I stand firmly in the grace and the
hope I claim to profess?
Afflictions: I’ve not personally suffered much in my life. As Jesus tells
the disciples, I “pray that I will not be put to the test” (Mt
26:41), and yet I wonder (clue #4): do I allow the world’s afflictions to
touch me deeply or have I grown numb? Do I reach out to accompany
those who need support, and do I allow myself to feel their struggle? Do I
try to fix or do I help others to build their own strength?
Does any of this resonate with you? Spend time in prayer looking for the
clues that lead to your peace.
Mon, Jun 13:
“Lord, listen to my groaning. ….At dawn I bring my plea expectantly
Do you ever groan to God? Do you allow yourself that kind of intimacy? Some
may feel more comfortable groaning to Mary or one of the saints, but I
suggest you try going right to the source. Trust me. God can take it.
It is unlikely that I am doing anything but sleeping at dawn, but this
points to the importance of starting each day in prayer -- before you “doom
scroll” or read the paper or watch the morning news. Consider this psalm. It
is a great prayer
during difficult times of sadness and
violence, and with the proliferation of lies so prevalent in the public
arena. “All who take refuge in the
Lord will be glad.”
Tue, Jun 14:
acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always.”
Yesterday, we brought our prayer “before” God. Today, we talk about our sin
being “before” us always. If I persist in keeping my sin before me -- either
by failing to confess, or, more likely, failing to forgive myself – my
prayer to God will be stilted. I, not God, set up a roadblock by
keeping my sin before me rather than putting it behind me.
Are you holding on to past sins? Ashamed that you should have been “better
than that?” Accept your humanity and your dependence on our ever-merciful
God. Ask… groan if you can…to God to help you forgive yourself. Let go of
the pride that keeps you from the freedom of mercy.
say to you, they have received their reward.”
(Mt 6:1-6, 16-18)
Jesus says the people who pray, give alms, or fast for the sake of
recognition have received their reward. What is that reward? Anyone who
struggles with poor self-esteem knows what Jesus means. That reward is the
accolades, the approval of others. And those of us motivated by these kinds
of rewards know how short-lived they really are.
is no reward on earth that can even come close to doing things solely for
“There is no
greater pride than in seeking to humiliate ourselves beyond measure! And
sometimes, there is no truer humility than to attempt great things for God.”
de Saint-Cyran) Consider today what motivates your prayer or good deeds. Is
it obligation? Is it for others to see and praise you? Or is it for God’s
greater glory? You can attempt great things for God, even if they “fail.” It
is truly reward enough!
“You were destined, in time to come…To turn back the hearts of fathers
toward their sons.”
imagine most parents would claim their hearts are turned towards their
children, even if their lived lives don’t show it. Addiction, overwork,
mental illness can get in the way. But I worry we do things we think will
benefit our own children without taking into consideration the children of
the world and the coming generations. Are our hearts turned toward the
really need to think about this. Our kids are grown, but what things have I
done (and still do) to benefit us that will be a cost to pay tomorrow?
Consider this question: What I am doing today to demonstrate my heart is
turned to the future?
your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
(Mt 6: 19-23)
We’ve heard this passage about “our treasure” over the years, but there’s an
aspect we might fail to account for: our time, which some would say is their
most valuable commodity. Our hearts may be with our treasure, but does our
calendar reflect that? Are we so caught up in doing that we fail to just be
with whatever it is we say we treasure?
Look back at your calendar for this week. How much time have you spent
cultivating a heart-filled connection with your treasure? Note: I did not
say doing for your treasure. We can fall into the trap of doing out of deep
insecurity about our ability to just be in connection with that which we
treasure the most. This is food for deep reflection. Take this to God in
Sat, Jun 18:
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things
will be given you.”
Jesus talks earlier in this passage about “Solomon in all his splendor,” and
I am reminded of Solomon’s answer to God in 1 Kgs 3:4-13:
“Give your servant
an understanding heart.”
Solomon asks for wisdom. We too should seek first the wisdom, the
righteousness of God, and trust God will provide all we need. Reflection/
Provision: Your assignment for today: print out the text of this gospel
reading. Highlight the verse that says, “Can
you by worrying add a single moment to your life?”😉
Don’t just read this passage, pray with it. (If you are up for a challenging
article that addresses the concepts of the two masters as it plays out in
the US right now, read:
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© 2021, Elaine H. Ireland.