Quite often amidst life’s daily tasks and encounters my attention goes to what is wrong with this person or that decision. Online news reports regularly give more coverage to crime and violence than to goodness and self-sacrifice.  For most any of us it is harder to focus on the good we accomplish than the

faults and failings which stare us in the face.  How refreshing, then, to hear Jesus praise his 72 disciples as they return from their mission trip.  God’s power and grace have been alive in their preaching and healing;  their presence to others has  been a real source of conversion and goodness.

So what might happen if we do what Jesus invites: can I show some measure of kindness today towards someone I usually find difficult?  Can I notice my spouse’s generosity?  my co-worker’s self-sacrifice as a crucial deadline looms?  Our neighborhood’s outreach towards another family’s misfortune?  Can I hear Jesus words as spoken to me personally: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see…and hear what you hear!”

Take a minute today to look at the reports of Pope Francis’ Oct 4 gathering for peace and renewal in Assisi.  Can you and I take a cue from his words and deeds … words and deeds yesterday that invite us to “go and do likewise” today, just as Jesus invites?

Hope in what is possible, joy in what is accomplished – these gospel values seem so intangible.  Today’s readings invite us to practical hope and joy.  Not a bad agenda for the month of October – let’s get to it!

—The Jesuit Prayer Team