The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cultivating peace

"If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all."

Mark 9:35
Sunday, September 23, 2012
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time—B

Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
Mark 9:30-37

An examination of conscience reflective of today’s Mass readings:
1. Am I so offended by another’s goodness that I attempt to cut him or her "down to size"—even make false accusations to place myself in a better light? Do I envy another’s accomplishments, achievements, or success to the degree that I try to “one-up” him or her, or act otherwise out of anger, bitterness and resentment because someone else has received what I believe I deserve more?
2. Is my aim in my work or other activities to serve the interests of my family, community, place of employment, parish, or other group, as well as individuals who may benefit from what my talents and resources have to offer? Or is it, rather, to gain recognition from and authority and power over others, to humiliate all potential rivals and build myself up?
3. Do I project my own inner anxieties, failures, and trials onto others, so creating external conflict and turmoil around me? Do I accuse unjustly, engage in gossip, or participate in detraction of others? Do I “argue along the way,” even in terms of religious matters, as did Jesus’ disciples?
4. Do I truly seek and strive after the peace which God alone can provide? Do I place myself completely under the protection and guidance of God, through whom I live, and move, and have my being?
5. Do I pray for the pure wisdom from above to act peaceably—with gentleness, sincerity, and compassion—in all I say or do?
6. Do I welcome within my arms all that are represented by the child which Jesus takes in his arms in today’s Gospel—the weak, the sick, the poor, etc.? Do I see myself as the servant of all, as Jesus did?
7. PRAYER: Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto yours. A clean heart create for me, O God, and renew within me a steadfast spirit.

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