Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Set Apart

June 11, 2009

Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off. Acts 13:2-3

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24


Lord, we know that you will guide us always. Help us to be aware of what you want us to do. Set apart your agenda from ours as we realize that what we want and what You want is not be the same. Our thoughts are not Your thoughts! As we look to You for wisdom, we pray that You will light our path and show us where to go according to Your will. Help us to make “Your will, not mine” our aim in our thoughts, in our deeds and in our hearts so we can hear Your voice. Amen.


So what is in your calendar, day planner or on your task lists for today? The contrast we have between the first and second reading causes me to pause a little as I contemplate what I will do today. How about you?

No doubt Barnabas and Saul had other plans. In Saul’s case, before he was knocked off his high horse, there were always more Christians to persecute. But the Holy Spirit had other plans. Saul, now Paul, did a complete 180 degree turn and set off for the work planned for him by the Lord.

Matthew also gives us a reason to consider our agenda compared with the Lord’s agenda. Jesus does not want a bunch of followers who give lip service to his commandments. If we worship God while harboring a grudge against someone, then we do not give the Lord, our neighbor or ourselves the respect we should. Jesus tells us to set aside our personal feelings and arguments and seek reconciliation with others and ourselves before we seek reconciliation with the Lord.


Set aside your personal agenda for today and consider what the Lord asks of you. In Matthew 5, he raises the bar much higher than standards of public behavior which were established under Mosaic Law. Are you ready to reach for the heights that Jesus has set?