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Apr 01st
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Oct 11, 2009 - Sunday Meditation (Opened Hands to Receive!)
Oct 11, 2009 - Sunday Meditation (Opened Hands to Receive!) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Saturday, 03 October 2009 15:31


O ften, with Jesus, it is the question about the importance of what we have in hand versus having our hands open to receive what is promised in the unknown-to-come.



28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wisdom 7:7-11

Psalm 90:12-13, 14-15, 16-17

Hebrews 4:12-13

M ark 10:17-30  And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (18) And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. (19) You know the commandments: `Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'" (20) And he said to him, "Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth." (21) And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." (22) At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. (23) And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!" (24) And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! (25) It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (26) And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?" (27) Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God." (28) Peter began to say to him, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you." (29) Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, (30) who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.



Meditation By Larry Gillick, S.J.

T here is great satisfaction in completing a task. The partial remains a nagging bother. We receive compliments humbly when the full complement of tasks are arranged. Total is our desire and the incomplete damages our egos.


We are invited through our Eucharistic spirituality to live peacefully with our desires for the infinite while constantly experiencing our own and others, fragmentitude. The Holy Bread is broken, and the community moves from the experiencing of the One Body blessed and sent. It is sent for distribution. We prepare for the gathering by picking up our partials with their accompanying disappointments, and head for the “blessing-Place”, the Sending-Place, that is the Eucharistic table. There our personal and communal partials are blessed and we are to live them as holy-not-quites.




T he six verses which proceed our First Reading from the Book of Wisdom are simple declarations that the great King Solomon was conceived, born and raised just as do all humans. This whole chapter is worth reading and prayed with slowly.


Our five verses are a praise of the God Who gives the king such wisdom. He prayed and God has given him prudence which he sees as that which has guided him all his life. The reading is full of examples highlighting how Solomon made choices. This prudence freed him from the natural inclinations to wealth, health, comeliness, and even light.


Solomon admits that all these gems and silver and power did come to him as a result of living with this gift from God, prudence.


This is one humble man who knows what things are and are not. He is given the gift of knowing from where things come and where they lead. Prudence is a reverence for, a vision of, his personal giftedness and as he states two verses after our Reading, “What I learned without self-interest, I pass on without reserve; I do not intend to hide her riches.”


The Gospel seems simple, but has some strong statements about money. The opening scene, as usual, creates a tension into which Jesus steps and speaks His message. A rich fellow asks a good question about what is required so as “to inherit eternal life”. Jesus reads the laws according to Jewish tradition and the man affirms that he has completed them all quite well.


Jesus knows the requirements of the Law, but here in this single moment ups the expectation of His New Law. Instead of “inheriting eternal life” by keeping certain commands, abundance in this life and life eternal will be for those who leave everything as their identity and entitlement and follow Jesus. In the Jewish history, health, wealth, large families and homes were absolute signs of God’s blessing. To have much and many meant that the Jewish person had done all things rightly. Jesus is changing the rules and this young fellow, in his personal race to win the prize of salvation, hits the wall and walks away in sadness. Jesus loved him and offered him a new way in. The tension increases now for those who have been His followers, the new is presented for them as well.


The image of a camel entering the eye of a needle does get our attention, as many of the images which Jesus uses, often do. Jesus admits the truth that for humans to enter into the kingdom of God is so very hard. His followers see this and kind of complain about the apparent impossibility for them. Jesus comforts them by saying that with God, what seems impossible is not. Peter of course has his own variety of complaint. He and the others have left everything to follow Jesus. Jesus emphasizes His main point once more. Take the risk of emptiness and see if you can receive the mystery contained in the future.


Often, with Jesus, it is the question about the importance of what we have in hand versus having our hands open to receive what is promised in the unknown-to-come.


 I will be celebrating a jubilee mass the Sunday of these readings. Dedicated religious women will be honored, admired, prayed over for their responses over the years to Gospel Readings just like this. They have been trying to leave behind possessions, families, riches, and property. They have tried to do the impossible, but they lived lives of trying to experience God’s possibility. Did they do all this perfectly, their community members will celebrate that they kept trying. Their years have been filled with the reception of “hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”


I suspect few artists, composers, and writers, such as myself, are ever totally satisfied with their works. That which we most want to do perfectly or especially well, never seems to fulfill their heartful desires. Jesus is the constant invitation to keep loving, keep painting, keep on keeping on. The following quote does say it well.


    'I see no reason to spend your life writing poems unless your goal is to write great poems.  To desire to write poems that endure -- we undertake such a goal certain of two things: that in all likelihood we will fail, and that if we succeed we will never know it.'  --- Donald Hall, (a poet)


Supplementary Reading

The Person God Sees  by Robert H. Schuller


She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: 'You are the God who sees me,' for she said, 'I have now seen the One who sees me.' – Genesis 16:13


A beggar sat across the street from an artist's studio. From his window the portrait painter sketched the face of the defeated, despairing soul—with two important changes. In the dull eyes of the beggar he put the flashing hint of an inspired dreamer. He sketched the man's face reflecting an iron will and fierce determination. When the portrait was finished, the artist called the poor man over to see it.


"Who is it?" he asked as the artist smiled quietly. Then, catching just a glimpse of himself in this portrait, the beggar hesitantly asked, "Is it me? Can that possibly be me?"


"That's how I see you," replied the artist.


Straightening his shoulders, the beggar responded, "If that's the man you see—then that's the man I'll be."


God looks at you and sees a beautiful person waiting to be born!


* * *

Ask a trusted friend to describe for you in one or two sentences the person he or she sees in you.

* * *



This excerpt was taken from the "Power for Life Daily Devotional"

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Last Updated on Sunday, 11 October 2009 08:03

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