Monday, September 22, 2014
for Sunday, September 28, 2014
16th Sunday after Pentecost
READ: Philippians 2.1-13 “consolation” and “selfish ambition”
REFLECT: The first thing that came to mind when I read the word “consolation” was a consolation prize for the loser on a reality television show. I’m usually in the minority when I tell people that I’m unable to watch reality television. Lies and deception, mistrust and back-stabbing. It’s not fun for me, it’s painful. All I can see is selfish ambition.
As I continued to read, I thought about another use of the word “consolation” as found in the Examen of Ignatius of Loyola. The Examen is a form of prayer in which one reviews the day, paying close attention to the “consolations” and “desolations”. These are inner stirrings of the heart that lead either to an increase or decrease in faith, hope and love, respectively.
Again my thoughts turned to reality television, and I remembered that there was in fact a show that I appreciated, precisely because its premise was contrary to so many other shows in the wilderness/survival genre. Bear Grylls, host of “Get Out Alive,” rewards those who look to the good of the whole group. On this show, participants are penalized and reprimanded for selfish ambition at the expense of others. Humility and love are not consolation prizes for the weak. They are key attributes of the winners.
RESPOND: God, help us to remember that humility and love for others is the way to exercise and put into practice your saving grace in our own lives. Help us to trust that as we care for one another, we can let down our guards and experience deeper and more meaningful relationships and stronger communities.
Think about your home, neighborhood or workplace. Is there a culture of mutual love and respect, or competition and undercutting? Choose one person from one of these contexts with whom you are at odds. What might happen if you adopted an attitude of humility rooted in love?
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.