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Mk 3: 1-6

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Come forward.’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. 

He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 


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The importance of presence and availability

In today’s reading we encounter a familiar scene of Jesus entering the synagogue, and once again finding someone who needs healing, care, belief and cure.  And just beyond this man, we notice that we again find Jesus in tension with the “powers that be.”

 These powers have been alerted to the fact that Jesus is not following the rule of law as he should.  Instead, he is staying present and available to the people who need love and kindness and advocacy and healing and cure and resources. 

Instead of sticking to the clean black-and-white straight lines of the rules and laws of the day, Jesus is jumping right into the mess of the grey, where the needs of the people and their call to him for love and service and justice moves him deeply.  The people’s call to Jesus’ heart and spirit is one that brings grief, anger, and danger with it. 

Jesus names this dilemma clearly: “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” 

Choosing to amend or reject a rule or law or to go against power is neither an easy nor superficial decision.  It requires discernment in which we can gain clarity about the choices before us, and in which we can learn to choose the “greater good” of those choices. 

While the law may be good, Jesus demonstrates that presence, availability and love for the person before us may be the greatest good of all, regardless of the consequences.

—Kathy Coffey-Guenther, Ph.D., is senior mission and Ignatian leadership specialist at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.

 


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Prayer

“We must take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.  Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.  Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion or political views, that place must- at that moment- become the center of the universe. “

Lord, hear our prayer.  Amen.

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016), professor, writer, Nobel peace prize winner, humanitarian, activist and Holocaust survivor


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“The goal of the spiritual life, as Ignatius conceived it, is to ‘choose what better leads to God’s deepening life in me.” This is a dynamic goal…Most of the time this means that we are to join with God in active work in the world. This active life rests on a foundation of reflection.” (Excerpt from What is Ignatian Spirituality? By David L. Fleming, S.J.)

 

At Saint Ignatius High School, there is much emphasis put on the active work accomplished by students through academics, athletics, service, arts and extracurricular clubs. Each day, the Ignatius community pauses at 1:20 p.m. for five minutes to reflect on that active work- to pray the examen prayer. The prayer is read by students, faculty or staff. Ignatius encouraged the Jesuits to make the examen a daily habit. We invite you to share in this practice by listening to the live broadcast and/or archives of the examen prayers of the school year. Click here to listen to the live daily examen (weekday) 1:20 p.m. EST broadcast and archived recordings of the Daily Examen.

 

The examen that Ignatius outlined in the Spiritual Exercises has five points: 1) be grateful for God’s blessings; 2) ask the help of the Spirit; 3) review the day, looking for times when God has been present and times when you have left him out; 4) express sorrow for sin and ask for God’s forgiving love; 5) pray for the grace to be more totally available to God who loves you so totally.

We invite you to pray with us

Saint Ignatius High School is alive with activity and God’s graces daily. Within those activities, all are reminded that God is present in the daily routines of class, work, home and social life. One way students are reminded of God’s presence is through the daily pause for the examen prayer, a contemplative prayer structure gifted to us through the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola. Through the Spiritual Exercises St. Ignatius shows us we can find God in all things, and we are encouraged to enter a relationship with Christ. May you draw closer to God through this prayer site, and may it assist you in reminding you of God’s presence in our daily activities.



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    In addition to the Jesuit community and students from Saint Ignatius High School dedicating intentional prayer time for all your requests, prayers for the sick will also take place on Tuesday mornings during the Gonzaga Society of Prayer at 7:30 a.m. in the St. Mary of the Assumption Chapel.

DAILY INSPIRATION

January 22, 2020

Scripture

Mk 3: 1-6

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Come forward.’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. 

He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 


Ignatian Reflection

The importance of presence and availability

In today’s reading we encounter a familiar scene of Jesus entering the synagogue, and once again finding someone who needs healing, care, belief and cure.  And just beyond this man, we notice that we again find Jesus in tension with the “powers that be.”

 These powers have been alerted to the fact that Jesus is not following the rule of law as he should.  Instead, he is staying present and available to the people who need love and kindness and advocacy and healing and cure and resources. 

Instead of sticking to the clean black-and-white straight lines of the rules and laws of the day, Jesus is jumping right into the mess of the grey, where the needs of the people and their call to him for love and service and justice moves him deeply.  The people’s call to Jesus’ heart and spirit is one that brings grief, anger, and danger with it. 

Jesus names this dilemma clearly: “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” 

Choosing to amend or reject a rule or law or to go against power is neither an easy nor superficial decision.  It requires discernment in which we can gain clarity about the choices before us, and in which we can learn to choose the “greater good” of those choices. 

While the law may be good, Jesus demonstrates that presence, availability and love for the person before us may be the greatest good of all, regardless of the consequences.

—Kathy Coffey-Guenther, Ph.D., is senior mission and Ignatian leadership specialist at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.

 


Prayer

“We must take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.  Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.  Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion or political views, that place must- at that moment- become the center of the universe. “

Lord, hear our prayer.  Amen.

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016), professor, writer, Nobel peace prize winner, humanitarian, activist and Holocaust survivor

PRAYER REQUESTS

    In addition to the Jesuit community and students from Saint Ignatius High School dedicating intentional prayer time for all your requests, prayers for the sick will also take place on Friday mornings during the Gonzaga Society of Prayer at 7:30 a.m. in the St. Mary of the Assumption Chapel. Also, during the month of November, our community will pray in a special way for the deceased relatives and friends of those in our Saint Ignatius community.

DAILY EXAMEN

The Daily Examen is a prayer technique developed by St. Ignatius to help us reflect on the events of the day to discern God’s presence and direction. When Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus, he required the Jesuits to practice the Examen twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day. It’s a habit that Jesuits, and many other Christians, practice to this day.

The Examen structure presented below is adapted from a technique described by Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. Click here for more information from our partners in ministry at Loyola Press.

Daily Examen

1. Become aware of God’s presence

God, I believe that at this moment I am in your presence and you are loving me.

2. Review the day with gratitude

God, you know my needs better than I know them. Give me your light and your help to see how you have been with me, both yesterday and today.

3. Pay attention to your emotions

God, help me to be grateful for the moments when people have affirmed me and challenged me. Help me to see how I have responded, and whether I have been kind to others and open to growth.

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it

God, forgive me for when I have not done my best or have failed to treat others well. Encourage me, guide me, and continue to bless me.

5. Look toward tomorrow

As I look to the remainder of this day, make me aware that you are with me. Show me how to be the person you want me to be.

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