Posted June 23, 2011
Book: Ordinary Grace: Weeks 1-17: Daily Gospel Reflections
By Daughters of St. Paul
Pauline Books and Media. Boston, MA. 2011. Pp. 338
Excerpt from Introduction:
How to Use This Book
Every day, God’s grace is available through his word. There is, of course,
nothing “ordinary” about grace, which is the amazing reality of God’s life in
us. There is nothing “ordinary” about Ordinary Time, either. In fact, the term
“Ordinary Time” does not mean time that is average or mundane. It comes from the
way the weeks are “ordered” using numbers in the form of ordinals (first,
second, third, etc.).
Ordinary Time is a time of grace, an opportunity to reflect on all the aspect of
the mystery of Christ, rather than intensely focusing on a certain aspect, as we
do in the other liturgical seasons. You are invited to share with the Daughters
of St. Paul their meditations on the Gospel readings of Ordinary Time.
An Excerpt from the Book
Friday of the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time
“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean”
I open the sacred text today and step into it, knowing that this story of
salvation is also my story. It’s easy to immediately get caught up in today’s
readings. I begin by watching Jesus as he comes down the mountain. I join the
ranks of the great crowds following him, and keep my eyes and heart open.
An outcast approaches Jesus — a leper. The crowd draws back in fear of the
disease. I hear the man with leprosy simply say “if you wish, you can . . .” It
would be such an ordinary request if it weren’t a healing that he wanted! For
Jesus though, it is a simple matter. “I will do it,” and it’s done, just like
that. The leper is cured immediately, so great is Jesus’ power to heal.
I dwell on the leper’s words, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” This
phrase is so powerful, packed with so much confidence. “If you wish” presupposes
that the one making the request believes that the Lord does care, does really
desire one’s good. In this case, it is to be made clean. We have so many things
to be cleansed of! They could be outright sin, unhelpful attitudes, or a myriad
of other possible burdens.
How many times have I asked the Teacher to cleanse me, desiring renewed
wholeness through the sacrament of Reconciliation! I have requested this in
words similar to the leper’s desiring pardon or asking for any needed healing of
body, mind, or spirit.
Yes, Lord, you can make me clean. The leper in the Gospel story has walked away,
and I stand there in his place, looking up expectantly. I know that you can do
this. I trust that you want to do this. I just need the faith today to see how
you are working in my life, making me clean. No one desires my good as much as
Lord, thank you for your love for me. No one is as much on my side as you are.
You keep on working on me, consistently, fashioning me into a true disciple who
looks to you to teach me through everything that happens. I trust that you will
help me keep my heart open to you so you can continually mold me in your divine
image. In all the circumstances of my life, you are with me. Thank you for
walking with me.
I know that the Lord desires my good. I delight in his care.