Faith · Religious life · spirituaility

September 24th – Widening the lens

Scripture Reflection. . .

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading:  Isaiah 55: 6-9

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145 “The Lord is near to all who call upon him.”

Second Reading: Philippians 1:20-27

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16

One of our Sisters had a saying, “God sees things differently.” This was often in response to an individual expressing a sense of shame or isolation due to specific religious rules, practices, teachings, etc.

Perhaps this is one way of summing up the message in today’s Scriptures. The Prophet Isaiah says it clearly “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways says the Lord.”  St. Paul shares his unusual perceptive of actually looking forward to his dying, because it means being with Christ. Most of us cling to life missing the hope of union with our Creator. Finally, Jesus gives us the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Here God is portrayed as “unfair” when those who work a mere hour receive the same compensation as those who work all day. Yes, God does see things differently.

If we fashion our image of God after the way we see things we are missing the God who is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The Lord [who] is good to all and compassionate toward all his works (Psalm 145).

Today we are invited to not only see God differently but to see ourselves and one another differently – through the eyes of Jesus.  if we look to Jesus with open eyes and hearts we will see God in ever new ways and we will see how God responds to all God’s created works.

In our Lives as Sisters of the Redeemer . . .

Each day offers opportunities to widen the lenses through which we see the world around us.  This past week the God helped us see a little more clearly through the following communal experiences.

We gathered one evening as a Province to hear the recounting of an international gathering about our Spirituality and Charism through the eyes and hearts of some of our Sisters and Redeemer Associates who attended.

We formally adopted the name Sisters of the Redeemer  so as to be unified with our international congregation of Sisters in Germany and Tanzania. The simplification  of the name also makes more visible that the Redeemer is the center of our lives and mission.

The first day of Fall brought with it father and son teams from a local high school for a service day in our community garden. Additionally,  elementary school students involved in our school garden participated in a blessing of the  garden and each other as the previous class symbolically passed the garden along to the new second grade students.  It was a day to see the gift creation has of bringing people together to enjoy, to serve, to bless.

We came together to comfort the grieving family of a co-worker who recently lost her husband to cancer.  We see yet again how compassion and healing flows from difficult situations and the struggles of life when hearts are open and a community of faith and love gathers together.

There were also many special events to celebrate this past week. Some of us attended an event to support the children at an orphanage in Honduras, others helped raise support for children experiening hunger and homelessness and still other Sisters attended the ordination of a religious order priest who has served in our ministries. We see how God works through those we might least expect: the humble, the least, those with the faith of a child.

In Your Life . . .

Ever here the acronym WWJD for What Would Jesus Do?  We invite you to practice asking this question of yourself during one day this upcoming week.  When you find yourself seeking to make a decision or faced with a situation outside your comfort zone or simply going about your daily routine, turn to Jesus and ask, “What would you do?  Or if you find yourself questioning your faith or seeking to deepen your understanding of God, you can ask Jesus, “What do you reveal about God?” When you find yourself struggling to accept who you are or resisting the necessary steps to growth and wholeness you may be moved to ask, “What would Jesus say to me?”

Perhaps you will want to prayer with the song “Open my eyes” By Jesse Manibusan

Open my eyes, Lord
Help me to see your face
Open my eyes, Lord
Help me to see

Open my ears, Lord
Help me to hear your voice
Open my ears, Lord
Help me to hear

Open my heart, Lord
Help me to love like you
Open my heart, Lord
Help me to love

And the last shall be first
And our eyes are opened
And we’ll hear like never before
And we’ll speak in new ways
And we’ll see God’s face in places we’ve never known

I live within you
Deep in your heart, O Love
I live within you
Rest now in me

Blessings on your week!