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SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS | Pushing the reset button in our lives

The theme of resetting our attitudes and actions plays out frequently in the Scripture readings this week

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

“Let’s push the reset button” is a consistent theme in this week’s readings.

The prophet Elijah helps Israel push the reset button. The people had given in to idolatry, worshiping the false god Baal. Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a contest on Mount Carmel. Baal did not respond to their cries to consume a sacrificial bull; as Scripture says: “no one answered, and no one was listening.” But God responded to Elijah’s prayer with fire and brought the Israelites back to their senses.

Afterward, Elijah needs God’s help in pushing the reset button in his own faith life! Struggling with his courage, the prophet flees to Mount Horeb to hide. This time God does not come in fire but in the still, small, whispering voice. And in that quiet whisper He restores Elijah’s courage for mission.

We begin a series of readings from the Gospel of Matthew this week. And we begin with the Sermon on the Mount, which is one of the great “reset” moments in salvation history. Jesus comes as the new Moses to reset people’s attitude toward the law. He comes not to abolish but to renew and deepen the demands of the law.

We celebrate St. Anthony of Padua on June 13. He originally joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, then he pushed the reset button and became a Franciscan. He originally wanted to preach in Africa, but he pushed the reset button and ended up preaching in France and Italy. He was going to be a simple friar, but he pushed the reset button and became a university professor — the first Franciscan to teach theology to other Franciscans.

All of these points converge on two simple yet profound questions:

1) Where do I need to push the reset button in my own life?

2) Where do we, collectively, need to push the reset button in our parishes and schools?

One of the vows Benedictine monks take is called “conversatio morum.” This hard-to-translate term encompasses many things, but one aspect is a kind of openness to perpetual conversion — to pushing the reset button over and over in our lives in order to grow closer to Christ. This Benedictine attitude and practice is a gift to the whole Church!

What are some practical things we might do to help us follow their example and push the reset button in our own lives?

Think about reading one chapter of the Gospels a day — 89 chapters in total. This three-month process can be like rolling a snowball: Our encounter with Christ will grow a little bit at a time as we do so, and that encounter with Him will help us push the reset button in our lives.

Think about reading one Psalm a day — 150 Psalms in total. As St. Ambrose once said: “In the book of Psalms there is profit for all … All who read it may find the cure for their own individual failings. All with eyes to see can discover in it a complete gymnasium for the soul.”

Scripture tells repeatedly about God helping His people push the reset button in their lives. Let’s be attentive to how He’s asking that of each of us, individually and collectively.

From the Archive Module

SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS Pushing the reset button in our lives 9668

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