Today's Scripture Reading Reflection


Creighton U. Daily Reflection

October 28, 2021
by Larry Gillick, S.J.
Creighton University's Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
click here for photo and information about the writer

Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
Lectionary: 666

Ephesians 2:19-22
Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5
Luke 6:12-16
Praying Ordinary Time

Ss. Simon and Jude from the Vatican

Brothers and sisters:You are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, 
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Eph. 2-19

It is really all about identity and belonging these days. Jesus went up the mountain to pray “to” God. Why? Mountains seem in Scripture to be places of identification and call. Jesus, in His human condition, was moved to be reassured of Who He was and what He was called to be and do.

In the light of dawn Jesus called all of His disciples up the mountain to join Him and from them He identified twelve to be named and sent. They were to be separated from each other, but not divided. Division means to have separated minds and hearts; they were united, because of whom Jesus named them. Please refer to the verse from our First Reading for this liturgy noted above.

These twelve had one name, “Apostles” and their simple names which are all mentioned, including the last one, Judas, who would be the “Traitor.” As apostles, they were “sent” to unify God’s people by the hearing the Good News of who they escentially were, “The People of God.” These people were different according to language and customs, but they were to be known, not by these accidental distinctions, but by their God-given essence.

There is much division in our world, Church, nations and families these days. Much of this is because of a loss of essential identities. Division is caused so often, I offer, because we have made the outside things, more important than the sacred-inside, that is, our real identities. I am for this person as leader, I hold to this priority. I am not of that color. I do not speak that strange language or do those odd religious things or wear those silly clothes.

The more I define you by the outside of you, the more I am forced to claim myself by my outside and make it my everything. I become a thing defined by my ways which become a wall and a form of blindness. I only see in you what makes me separate from you and you and you too!

“Brothers and sisters” are reduced strictly to similarities and everyone else are everythings. Pope Francis has been gently, directly, calling us back from division into our sacred unity within our being different and dispersed. Our one home is not our own, it belongs to our now and those to whom we offer it in the years to come. What Jesus is sending these Apostles to do is announcing something very new for those to whom they are sent. That same message comes to us through the Church and its proclamation of His Good News. For us what is “new” is not always taken as “good.”  What is “new” is about our taking off outsidedness and getting or building or grabbing our false identities as protection from change or conversion. The real and deep identity is received, believed and lived, but not as a contest or war. It has to do with our joining Jesus in His prayer up the mountain.

Who do You, the God of my creation, celebrate me to be? Who/what do you, Jesus, my "Personal-Namer" send me to be and do?

That prayer with Jesus up the mountain is to assist me to live and move from my true inside to an outside, not of identity, but revelation of the Sender. 

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lgillick@creighton.edu

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