Scripture Reflection . . .
First Reading:2 Samuel 5:1-3
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 122
Second Reading: Colassians 1:12-20
Gospel: Luke 23:35-43
Kenosis, a word that mean emptiness or the “self-emptying of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God’s divine will.” (according to wikipedia). Kenosis is most clearly visible in Jesus – in his life and his death, “Your will be done!”
This final Sunday in Ordinary Time before we begin the Advent Season and the new Church Year is designated as the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
It sounds like a paradox to speak of kenosis and kings. But then we have a God of contradictions! A God who is always striving to show us the way to love and mercy – a way that is narrow, not the wide easy road; A road Jesus first took to show us the way. This way requires that we let go, empty ourselves of pride, self-righteousness, self-preservation and comfort, etc, etc. Why? The promise of joy and freedom – resurrection. If we hold on too tight, it is difficult to be open to receive love.
While Jesus was on the cross, he had to listen to the taunting crowd, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.” Yet, even in his agony he chose to give of himself to save others, to save us. To the repentant criminal hanging on the cross beside him, Jesus promised Paradise. In St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians we receive the amazing message that God has “delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” It is all gift! First we must receive this gift – to believe we are loved so much – so we can then share this love.
Yes, “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122).
As this Year of Mercy comes to a close we have here the very clear image of God’s mercy and love. Let us continue to be open to receive the mercy of God so that we can then pour out mercy into the world as we enter this new year.
In Our Lives as Sisters of The Holy Redeemer . . .
In the events of this past week we have witnessed the self-giving love of God:
Several of us visited Joseph House in Camden, New Jersey on Wednesday evening to serve a meal to the many guests seeking shelter for the evening. Though we prepared and served a meal we met several volunteers who are there every week to welcome, feed and protect men and women experiencing homelessness.
The next day, Thursday, November 17th we celebrated St. Elizabeth of Hungary, one of our Patron Saints known for her self-giving. She was a Queen who lived the works of mercy – feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick . . . In giving of her earthly title and possessions the Kingdom of God was experienced on earth. We gathered for a meal and prayer seeking the grace to follow her example.
Earlier that day one of our Sisters and one of the Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteers involved in our garden ministry visited Genesis Farm. There they met some people that have chosen a simpler lifestyle seeking to share with the world our inter-dependence with Earth whether carrying out earth literacy programs or growing organic produce. In all this it is evident that nature follows the self-giving pattern of the Creator.
We celebrated our Sister Sophia’s on her birthday. Life teaches us about self-giving and in Sr. Sophia we see a woman who has embraced Our Redeemer’s call to love our neighbor.
In Your Life . . .
You may wish to listen to the song , Thy Will be Done by Hilary Scott
How does this song connect with your own story? What does God want to share with you? What are you moved to share with God?
Blessings on your week!