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Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

Today Jesus says: “When you seen a cloud rising in the west, you know that it is likely that rain soon will fall.” At a young age, we all learn to be attentive and alert to the weather. One of the first things I do in the morning when I get up is to look out the window to see what the weather is. Then as I get dressed, I listen to the radio for the weather forecast. The forecast tells me how to dress appropriately for the day.

However, Jesus is upset and frustrated with the crowds who have gathered to listen to him preach. He is angry that they do not know how to interpret the present time. Are the people blind, deaf or dumb? Jesus expresses his anger and frustration when he asks them: “Why do you not judge for yourself what is right?”

Jesus then uses the example of taking your opponent to a magistrate for a fair judgment. It would be wise to try and settle the matter before you get to the judge. If you end up before the judge, it is likely that your accuser will turn you over to the judge. Then the judge may send you to the constable. And it is possible that you may be thrown into prison until you can pay your accuser all the money you owe him.

Jesus simply wants us to be attentive to the many signs in our lives. Some of the signs we receive are from God. Other signs or clues may come from the people in our lives, be they family, friends or strangers. Then there are the signs we can glean from all the turmoil and pain in our lives and in our world. Though many of these signs are violent, painful and tragic, there also is great beauty, love and self-giving in the midst of all the pain and tragedy.

Ask yourself: how do you interpret our present time? Do you ignore it? Or do you strive to make sense of it? Do you pray for the many people in our world who every day struggle in the midst of violence, terrorism, starvation or poverty? Or are we tempted to ignore the pain and suffering in our world as we go about our day?

Today may we be mindful of the multitudes of people in our world who are in dire need of love, care and prayer. If we are not mindful and caring of them, we may be judged for not acting in a right and loving manner!

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