Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A
Reflecting on Philippians 4: 12-14, 19-20
I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. How many times have you posted that on your refrigerator, recited it to yourself at the doctor’s office, or prayed it as you pushed yourself to swim that extra lap or run that extra mile?
I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. How many times have you prayed that as you left your warm bed to tend to a crying child, or answer the call of an elderly neighbor, or get ready for another day of work that provides for your family and contributes to the good of society?
I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. When you think back on times in your life when you were afraid, or powerless, or anxious, or sick, or in grief so deep you couldn’t breathe, can you now see that it was Christ who strengthened you, Christ who carried you, Christ who has never, never left you?
I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me, forever and ever, Amen.
What prayer do you hold in your heart and say throughout the day?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
Not long before my brother passed away, one of my cousins sent me a bracelet called “God’s Heart.” She said that it reminded her of me when she saw it and sent it just because. The “G” and the “D” are the outside curves that form the heart around the “O.” I wish I could show you what it looks like but imagine the name God wrapped around my wrist over and over, with the point of one heart linked to the indentation in the next. In some ways wearing black for a year of mourning was a beautiful ritual because it allowed the very pure emotion of grief to exist and be honored. Since we’ve lost the custom of an exterior display, this bracelet reminds me that I am in the depths of grief even as it brings me healing. Each morning when I put it on, I remember that my brother is in God’s heart and so am I. All through the day, when I finger the bracelet I am so aware of that truth. Such is my prayer….
My prayer is “The Lord let his face shine upon you.” This verse from Numbers is very multipurpose and fits so many different occasions and happenings. I think of a bright light shining as a reward, or to brighten up a situation, or to reach for. And to look and see that the light is the face of our own Savior, Jesus….wow! It makes everything worth it!