Monday, June 10, 2013

Blessed Be

Blessed Be

June 10, 2013
Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.  Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.  Matthew 5:1-3-6


John Wesley's Prayer

I am no longer my own but yours,
Put me to what you will
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal
And now glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And this covenant now made on earth, let it be satisfied in heaven.


When we head out to our favorite game – be it as a spectator or participant – we cheer on our team and teammates to beat the “other guys.”  Often there is talk about how the play of one team member inspires those around him or her to play to a higher level.  But we also have another disposition when we play…the proverbial “Win one for the Gipper” attitude.  Sometimes, afflictions or bad luck of another propel us to that higher level.  

This phrase originated in American football. Knute Rockne was the coach of (where else?) the University of Notre Dame team in the 1920s and George Gipp was his star player. The story goes that Gipp fell ill and when he lay dying in a hospital bed, he asked Coach Rockne to promise that, when things were going badly for the team, he should inspire them by asking them to 'win one for The Gipper.

Ronald Reagan played the part of Gipp in the 1940 film “Knute Rockne: All American.”  In the film, Rockne the coach recounted what Reagan/Gipp had to say that day in the hospital:  “And the last thing he said to me, "Rock," he said, "sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they've got and win just one for the Gipper.” 

The beatitudes are the ancient equivalents of the Gipper speech.  Our Lord uses what seem like afflictions and weakness to make us aspire to lives of grace and strength in building his Kingdom.


What afflictions inspire you?  Remember, it’s not about “how great I am,” as boxer Ali would say, but rather about “How Great Thou Art.” Your talent and your afflictions can both be the pathway to the attitude and hard work needed to succeed.

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