July 31, 2020 (readings)
- Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, "Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?" And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house." And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your power. I know that you are the Lord of all history. I trust that you are guiding my life. Thank you for showing me that you will triumph. Thank you for the triumph you have already achieved in my heart and the hearts of so many people. I want to allow you to have total control over my life.
Petition: Lord, increase my faith in you.
1. Too Much Familiarity: The people of Nazareth thought they knew all about Jesus. He had grown up among them. Apparently, they had not seen anything extraordinary about him before he started his public ministry. They thought he was just like everyone else. So when they hear that he is doing miracles and teaching with authority, they do not believe it. Sometimes I also run the danger of putting limits on Christ’s power in my life. I see the unimpressive circumstances of my life and the recurrence of the same old problems. I do not believe that Christ can do something supernatural amid an ordinary situation. Today I am receiving an invitation to step beyond the routine and believe more deeply in the power of Christ.
2. An Unwelcome Prophet: The solution to their deepest problems was in their own backyard. Yet, the people of Nazareth felt that such a familiar figure could not bring anything extraordinary. When the Church sometimes challenges me with some of her teachings – on charity, on family life, on the need to be a courageous witness –, do I sometimes find excuses, like saying that my circumstances are too complicated, or the Church does not understand my situation? Do I sometimes let the prophetic voice of the Church die in my heart? When I feel challenged by the Gospel and by the Church, I should be thankful. Christ is inviting me to discover the deepest meaning of my life. He is giving me a chance to allow his presence to make a profound change in my life. He is allowing me to discover him in faith and is taking me beyond my comfort zone to the level of the coming of his Kingdom.
3. A Miracle Worker in Waiting: What sort of miracles does Christ want to do in my life? Christ has a plan to make my life a luminous witness to the power of his grace. He wants to fill my life with his holiness and help me be a light for others. If I can shake off my superficiality and lack of faith, I will discover the powerful presence of the Savior who helps me live each moment with depth and love. He can do miracles in my life. He can help me live the virtues which are most costly for me. Am I willing to take a risk for Christ and trust him?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I know you want to do great things in my life. Help me to see how you can transform the ordinary, seemingly unimportant circumstances of my day into moments when your grace triumphs. Enable me to be docile to your Holy Spirit so that he can do miracles in my life.
Resolution: I will increase my faith in Christ by taking a risk for him in some aspect of my spiritual or apostolic life.
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