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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sunday Reflection

"Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Mt 16:25)

That phrase from this Sunday's Gospel always makes me think. I love the first reading from Jeremiah:

You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped;
you were too strong for me, and you triumphed.
All the day I am an object of laughter;
everyone mocks me.

Whenever I speak, I must cry out,
violence and outrage is my message;
the word of the LORD has brought me
derision and reproach all the day.

I say to myself, I will not mention him,
I will speak in his name no more.
But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,
imprisoned in my bones;
I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.

Jeremiah let God write his life's story and the result was more than he bargained for as he is one of the great prophets who influenced a nation not yet born. He did not want to be a prophet and told God he was too young, but then he surrendered to God and his life was full of suffering from the hostility he met. Yet his desire to serve God outweighed the opposition  so he continues to proclaim God's message to all.

My reflection today comes from Michael Simone, S.J. who writes a commentary on the Sunday readings in America. He begins by asking, "Who gets to write your life story?" This is the question posed by the readings. He concludes his reflections on the readings by saying: "If we surrender our lives to the author of life itself, we can break free of the ego-driven trivia and fear that consume so many of our days. When God writes our life story, though we may encounter struggles as Jesus and Jeremiah did, we will like wise discover the joy of sharing God's dreams and making our lives beacons of freedom."

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