Stress aside, I have continued to read and enjoy Matthew, which continues to be a great gospel. This week I continued landed at Chapter 13, which is replete with many parables. My favorite in this chapter is the following:
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.Reading: Matthew 15:53-58
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”
58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
Meditation: I have long been fascinated with the prophet being without honor in his own land. On a mundane level, I have had some experience with this, the most interesting being the time that we had a trainer coming to town from a sister organization, and everyone was excited to attend his lecture. Because I was one of the bosses, I was not scheduled to attend; indeed, there was no room for supervisors. Still, I was fascinated by his topic because it was one that I often trained. So, I called and asked if he would mind if I were to sit quietly in a corner for part of his training. He laughed and said that there was no problem and he would be delighted to have me there but I should be aware that he would be using my materials! I told him that was great. People would listen with greater confidence to the man who came from far away than to the woman who worked with them. It's a fact of life, and even Jesus had to contend with this oddity of human nature.
On a more elevated nature, Jesus not doing miracles because of people's lack of faith should cause us to consider our own faith. Perhaps some of that lack of faith (or occasional doubt) explains why God does not grant us more miracles in answer to prayer -- perhaps our lack of faith prevents this. Or, perhaps we even miss the miracles that are given to us because lack of faith has caused us not to look for them.
Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to
thank God for all the miracles He does give us even when we our faith is not as strong as it should be, to repent for all the good that He has sent my way that I have not noticed, and to praise Him for His willingness to help our unbelief. And then, just because the situation is pressing on me so strongly, I will ask Him for clarity and guidance at today's staff meeting -- and maybe bring it up to Him again during that meeting!
I will leave you now to your prayer and contemplation. First, though, I would like to bring to your attention a Monday morning prayer post that you might enjoy:
Fr. Austin Fleming, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and pastor in Concord, Massachusetts, posts a prayer each Monday morning that he calls "Monday Morning Offering." I enjoy his prayers very much. I think you also will find them inspirational. He has graciously given me permission to include a link to his blog on my Monday Morning Meditation posts. (During the week, he also posts great homilies and other thoughtful discussions. I enjoy reading those, too, as do readers of this blog who have taken the stroll over to his blog.)
For additional inspiration throughout the week, I would point out two sets of blogs: (1) the list of devotional blogs on my sidebar and (2) my blogroll, where I am following a number of inspirational priests and writers about spiritual matters. I learn so very much from all these people. I highly recommend them to you.