Reflections for Sunday, July 5, 2015

Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

Mass Readings:
1st Reading Ezekiel 2:2-5
2nd Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Responsorial: Psalm 123:1-4
Gospel: Mark 6:1-6

Trusting in God’s Desire to Speak His Word and Message to Us

Rebellious, stiff-necked, obstinate. Why would God go to the trouble of sending Ezekiel to speak his message to people who didn’t seem inclined to listen? It seems like a waste of time. But that’s how lavish God is with his love!

God wants to speak to his people! In Old Testament times, he sent prophets. Then he sent his Son. Now, he is sending us as his messengers. It’s a safe conclusion that God really wants to speak to his people! His longing to connect with us can’t be contained.

Today’s first reading also tells us that our disposition doesn’t change God’s desire to speak to us. He sent Ezekiel to speak his word to a people he knew was hard-hearted. He didn’t tell his prophets to avoid them. He didn’t send them just to the holy, the expectant, and the receptive. We see this also in today’s Gospel reading: Jesus spoke to the people in his hometown, even though many of them rejected him.

Thank God that he is so persistent! You may be in a particularly receptive place in your life right now. Praise God for that! But maybe you’re struggling. Perhaps you’ve been hurt and you’re not inclined to listen to God talk to you about a certain area of your life. It doesn’t matter. He still wants to reach out to you and give you a taste of his love and guidance.

You can be sure that God will be sending you messengers today, so keep your eyes open! Look in the usual places like Mass and your loved ones. But give him permission to speak to you in unexpected ways as well—maybe through a television commercial or a street sign or some other unusual way. Let his word break into your heart. Allow the wave of his desire for you to wash away any obstacles. He is sending his word to you. Receive it, and let it lift you up!

“Lord, I am amazed that even when I am moody or withdrawn, you keep speaking to me! Thank you for your relentless love.”

(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission.)

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

  1. In the first reading, Ezekiel tells of his commissioning to be a prophet to the nation of Israel. Prior to the commissioning, Ezekiel says, “the spirit entered into me” (Ezekiel 2:2). Why do you think receiving the Spirit was so important to him in fulfilling his prophetic mission? In what way is receiving the Holy Spirit important to your fulfilling God’s call for your life? How often do you turn to him for guidance?
  2. The Responsorial Psalm begins with these words: “To you I lift up my eyes who are enthroned in heaven. Our response to these words and others in the Psalm is, “Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.” How easy it is to take our eyes off the Lord during the busyness of our days, and the many distractions we encounter. What steps can you take to turn to the Lord more often during the day?
  3. In the second reading, what do you think the Lord meant when he said these words to St. Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness”? What do you think Paul meant when he said, “for when I am weak, then I am strong”? How would these words apply to your life? Were there times in your life when you experienced the sufficiency, power, and strength of the Lord in a time of difficulty and weakness?
  4. In the Gospel, we read that many people in Jesus’ hometown “took offense at him.” They were not able (or perhaps unwilling) to give him the honor that was due him, since he was only “the carpenter, the son of Mary.” Why do you think they failed to recognize Jesus for who he is: the Messiah, Son of God, and Lord? Why do you think that Jesus “was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them”?
  5. The Gospel also tells us that in his hometown, Jesus “was amazed at their lack of faith”? What do you think Jesus’ reaction would be to your faith in him? Why?
  6. In the meditation, we hear these words: “God wants to speak to his people!” The meditation goes on to say that “our disposition doesn’t change God’s desire to speak to us.” Do you believe that God wants to speak to you at Mass — or through Scripture, an inner sense, other people, or the circumstances of your life? If so, in what ways has this occurred in your life? What was the impact?
  7. Take some time now to pray and thank the Lord for his great love for you and his willingness to reach out and speak to you, in spite of your disposition or lack of openness to him. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.

These reflection questions are provided courtesy of The Word Among Us.