(for July 13th, 5th Sunday after Pentecost)
by Audrey Hindes
Matthew 13:1-9 “choke”
REFLECT: In the first reading of this passage this is the word that stood out to me, “choke.” It caught in my throat, even as I mulled it over in my mind. Hard to swallow, hard to breathe, hard to think. Panic. When I read the passage again, this image of choking in my mind, it seemed to me that as the crowds gathered around, Jesus may have felt as though they were choking him. No space to move, no space to think. He can’t even see them all, so thick they are pressing in on him. That’s how I would have felt. It’s not even that they’re malicious or out to get him – not yet, anyway. But I can imagine the barrage of demands, requests and pleas.
But Jesus doesn’t succumb. He doesn’t become a people-pleaser. He doesn’t run away. He doesn’t lash out. He doesn’t fall apart. He gets into a boat, goes away from the shore a bit, and gets some perspective. From here, he can see them all, consider them all, address them all. He can take his time in responding.
RESPOND: God, as I go through this day, there will be demands on me, on my time, on my energy. Help me to find ways to cultivate inner peace, so that I might respond, rather than react, to the needs of others with grace and wisdom.
In what ways can you “get in a boat” today? How can you carve out some inner perspective, some inner peace? What physical options are there? What mental or emotional options? Feel free to respond or ask questions in the comments below.
LECTIONARY TEXTS FOR THE UPCOMING SUNDAY (and for you to try on your own):
Lectio Divina Paci is a weekly devotional guide for peacemakers in the lectio divina form. Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scripture reading, prayer, meditation, and reflection that treats scripture as the Living Word. Lectio Divina Paci is an opportunity for peacemakers to become more in tune with the voice of the Prince of Peace.