Sunday, July 8, 2018
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today's Gospel from Mark 6:1-6 tells us how Jesus went back to Nazareth and began to teach in the synagogue when the sabbath came. Many who heard him were astonished. They did not know where Jesus had learned such wisdom. They asked: "Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house." He was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith."
This Gospel is always a call to me to deepen my own faith. Jesus comes to us in so many ways. Am I able to recognize Him in the circumstances, the people with whom I am interacting, the events of each day? I am trying to discern His Presence in my life in so many little ways by making the examen of conscience with Him each day. I have a help to do this now as I go out after supper for a walk with one of community here and we look together at our day. I also still try to keep my daily journal. I was impressed by the Pope asking every Christian to make an examen each day in dialogue with Christ. St. Ignatius always said that, if there was some reason to shorten the time of prayer, a Jesuit should never miss the time for the daily examen. It helps me get in touch with what the Lord may be trying to do in my life. I do not always do all five points but mention them here: Prayer for light, gratitude for the gifts of the day, looking back over the day to see where I may have kept or not kept my particular examen, sorrow for any faults committed, and a look to see how the next day will be more pleasing to the Lord.
Some remember 5 Rs to recall the five points. I am not sure what the 5 Rs are, but here is a stab at this memory help: Request, Rejoice, Review, Renew, and Resolve. Do try it and see how much it helps us to be in touch with the Lord during our day!
I mention the "particular examen" because it helps to have taken one aspect of your life to change or to affirm; I often have taken joy or gratitude, but at present I am trying to look to see if I choose what is pleasing to Jesus or just choose without consulting Jesus and so may just be pleasing myself. Pope Francis suggests a real dialogue with Jesus during the time of examen and I find this helpful!