August 30th – Ear-hand coordination

Scripture Reflection . . .

On the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary time, St. James reminds us to “be doers of the word and not hearers only . . .” (James 1:17-27).

The First Reading from Deuteronomy begins with these words of Moses, “Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees . . .” (4:1).  It is apparent that we first must listen before we can act.

It is said that others know what are values are by how we live and act.  So it is by our actions that we give evidence to what we have “attended with the ear of our heart,” to borrow a phrase from St. Benedict.  So it can be said that we are called to grow in our ear-hand coordination or even heart-hand coordination.

ear and hand

In our lives . . .

We, as Sisters of the Holy Redeemer, look back over the events of this week to notice how ears and hands worked together.

The week began with the Missioning Service of a new Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteer, Ashley, as she begins this year of service, faith and community. At the conclusion of Mass she shared her desire to grow in faith and to care for others before she further pursues her studies.  It is evident she desires to coordinate her ears, heart and hands in order to be a healing presence to all those she will meet during this coming year.  Just her presence with us demonstrates she has been listening to a call to share her life in service.

RMC missioning 2015

Several of us accepted an invitation to share dinner with the Holy Spirit Sisters, a religious congregation that we have shared much with since they first arrived in the Philadelphia area 5 years ago. Their attentiveness to the Spirit of hospitality was evident in their generosity and presence as we enjoyed a delicious meal they had prepared with their hearts and hands.

Another Sister participated in a blessing service for a newly opened facility within our ministries. It is common for us bless a new site, a remembrance that it is God’s work, and to ask for God to bless  all who will work there and  all who will visit.  We are called to be a healing presence to others and a key aspect to be present to others is the ability to listen.  So we ask God’s blessings on our ears, hearts and hands.

At week’s end we celebrate the founding of our Congregation, August 28, 1849.  It is because our Foundress, Mother Alphonse Maria, listened with her ears and heart to God in the midst of her life that she responded to the needs of the time, literally caring for the basic needs of people with the simple tools of her hands.  We celebrate our call to follow Jesus’s ear-hand coordination after her example.

The first convent of the Congregation, Niederbronn, France
The first convent of the Congregation, Niederbronn, France

In your life . . .

Perhaps you will take few moments this weekend to ask yourself

How was this past week?

When did my ears and hands work together?  What was the outcome?

Do I notice times when I wasn’t attentive to one or the other?  What was the effect?

You may wish to ask God’s blessing by making the Sign of the Cross on your ears, hands and over your heart.