Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Today’s Gospel again depicts Jesus rubbing elbows with the crowd. His heart went out to them because he saw in them so many who were broken down and wounded. When I find myself in a crowd – in a mall or in a stadium – am I inclined to see what he saw? He was attentive to the needs of all. Do I pray that each one I see hear Jesus calling him?
The problem is so many do not know how to pray. There was the man in the Gospel who couldn’t speak. But he did not come to Jesus to be healed . He was brought to him by others. Here for me is an example of the need for prayer, of the power of prayer for others I don’t even know.
Jesus ends this episode by telling his disciples to “ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers,” men and women disposed to be conduits of his healing power. I personally know others who need healing, and the media reminds me each day of millions more. Jesus asks me to bring them to him for curing. Isn’t this what prayer is all about? Doesn’t this encourage me to be more prayerful, to make offerings for others, particularly the most needful?
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.