Daily Reflection for Friday, July 14, 2017
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Genesis 46: 1-7, 28-30
Responsorial: Psalm 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
Gospel: Matthew 10: 16-23
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“Do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say.” Matthew 10: 19
It happens all the time. After a challenging encounter, I wish I’d responded in a different way. Given time to think back on the event, I think of better words and a more effective response. How can we invoke the clarity of mind “in the moment” of which Jesus speaks?
This Gospel reading is full of warnings for the disciples. It describes stressful and life threatening situations where the disciples will have to carefully respond. As humans, I think our natural reaction in such a situation is to panic and try to think of the best response in the moment. Jesus clearly says do not do that! Do not worry about how to speak or what to say.
Without the options of worry and brainstorming for the “right” words, what is left? Calm? A quiet space for the Spirit to enter? Clarity of mind so we can see God in all things?
A few years ago, I had an emotionally challenging event where I wanted to speak the “right” words. Our 4 year old granddaughter was on the phone sobbing, “Grandma, I don’t want you to die!” My heart broke for her. I silently asked God for help and tried to get out of His way as I listened to the anguish of a 4 year old whom I loved more than life itself. The response consoled both of us. “You are in New York and I’m in Indiana, but you can still feel my love, right? It will be the same when I’m in Heaven. We will always love each other but sometimes we will be in different places. Someday, we’ll be in heaven together forever.”
I believe, every communication encounter big or small should include the power of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, I fail too often to listen to Jesus and let go of worry and concern for choosing the right words. I forget to silence the chatter in my mind to make room for the Spirit. It is easier to remember Jesus’ instructions in serious situations such as defending a belief or challenging another. I definitely want a connection to God before speaking during major encounters. But, I also want God’s direction in all daily interactions. This requires the habit of emptying my thoughts and calling on God before opening my mouth.
Blessings to you!