Part 1 of 2
Daily Office Readings for Sunday of Proper 24: Year 1
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29: 11 to 14)
Several times the word “welfare” appears in this reading. Another word for welfare is Well being. However, our well being depends on our willingness to look for God. We must call upon, that is, pray to God for God’s help. When I read words like “gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile;” I take this to mean state of being more than geographic location. God wants us in a prayerful state of being. It is then that we will have “well being,” the welfare of God.
Part 2 of 2
New Testament Eucharistic Readings for Proper 24: Year B
“And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10: 35 and 36)
Can we listen and yet, not hear? Jesus has just finished telling the twelve about how he is going up to Jerusalem to be handed over and to be tortured and killed. While Peter is trying to tell him it shouldn’t be, James and John are trying to secure good seats in the kingdom. Do they not know that the Way is paved with suffering? Do we also not know this?
But Jesus wants to be clear about their requests. He asks them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” For me, the emphasis is on the word “You.” Is it the plural You as in “Ya’ll.?” Or is it a self-serving, first person you, as in only James and John?. Our Lord Jesus again refers to the Cup of Life and asks if they, (and we) are able to drink from it after our Baptism in Him? Like James and John, we too answer, “Yes.” So, are we also ready to suffer whatever it takes? Ponder this.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John