Scripture Reflection. . .
Eighteenth Sunday is Ordinary Time
First Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:2;2:21-23
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 90 “If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.”
Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-11
Gospel: Luke 12:13-21
I tend to want to skim over the reading from Ecclesiastes with its tone of futility. However, this feeling that nothing matters or nothing makes a difference can linger within us affecting our words and actions. So, I find it worth reflecting upon.
St. Paul in his Letter to the Colossians urges us to keep our eyes on Christ and the new life that Jesus offers to us: a life that is one of fulfillment rather than a life of pettiness and seeking power, wealth and security. St. Paul reminds us that “Christ is all in all.” Do I believe that Christ is enough? That Christ is my reason for hope and joy? That because of Christ, life, and my life, matter?
The Gospel Reading begs us to be aware that “stuff” will never satisfy us or give life meaning; the obtaining or achieving of wealth will never fill the emptiness that only love can fill. And human love won’t even complete the search for completeness, although relationship is what we are made for. The oft used quote of st. Augustine rings true once again, our hearts are truly restless until they rest in God. When we stop our striving and searching and rest in the faith that all we need is God we discover a deep peace and joy.
Without relationships, without faith, without God, life can seem futile.
In Our Lives as Sisters of the Redeemer . . .
This past week we celebrated faith and the relationships that nurture our faith.
Thanksgiving meal and prayer: This past Wednesday evening we celebrated our three Sisters who came to the end of their leadership term. What we celebrated most was their caring presence toward each Sister and the congregation as a whole. Certainly they accomplished many tasks and goals during their term but their love was the most significant and meaningful.
Installation of new leadership team: On Thursday evening three Sister were installed for the next term of leadership. What was most meaningful? The call to listening and presence that are inherent to servant leadership. It is all about relationships; with God and others.
Inter-congregational gathering: On Friday evening we accepted the invitation to join another congregation for dinner. The Holy Spirit Sisters hail from Tanzania. Their culture is rich and alive in their convent, cooking and prayers. We are united by our love of God and one another. This is what matters most.
In Your Life . . .
”If today you hear God’s voice harden not your heart.”
This is the Psalm response sung after today’s First Reading. It contains the key for deepening our relationship with God- or any relationship for that matter. Jesus’ life strongly indicates that relationship is what it means to be human – and therefore what gives our lives meaning and purpose. What is this key? Listening.
Suddenly I can think of all the times I haven’t listened . . . just today!
its true, listening is difficult and takes practice. It takes a commitment to entering into the deeper meaning of life; going below the surface of instant gratification. Listening takes time and patience but the reward is great. We will discover Christ is all in all.
Today, practice listening.
Start by setting aside everything you want to do or what you perceive you need to do.
Listen to your breathing.
Listen to the sounds around you.
Listen to the stirrings of your heart
Listen to a previous conversation and reflect on your ability to listen, or not.
Listen to God loving you and call upon God’s Spirit to help you listen to what really matters.
Blessings on Your Week!