by Sister Francis Bangert
In Sunday's Gospel we find Jesus in the synagogue of his home town, Nazareth. When given the scroll, he reads: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." Then he adds: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
We, who are baptized and anointed into the Body of Christ, are called by the Spirit to be good news to our brothers and sisters in need. Who are some of them?
The measure of our love for God is the measure of our love for our neighbor. In this Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, how can we be the hands, eyes, feet and heart of Jesus?
Excellent & very timely reflection! Personally, I have no struggle with the any of the fine examples of who are neighbor is that we are called to love- But that doesn't mean I have no struggles with loving my neighbor! Family members are also "our neighbors" who we are commanded to love, & there is tremendous woundedness in our family that really challenges me daily in loving them as God loves me. While extremely painful, I am very thankful for the grace God is providing for me to work on loving these family members and also, simultaneously, increasing my ability & willingness to forgive. Admittedly, I would rather kick back & not have to rise up to meet these challenges! LOL! But trusting in the Lord to take my best efforts & turn the obvious awful into blessings really works well for ALL of us! Thank you, Sister! God Bless!
Thank you, Sr. Fran, for a powerful reflection which keeps our love for God grounded in our love for others.
Thank you Sister Francis for your thoughtful, thoughtful words and challenge to respond in love to others with the "hands, eyes, feet, & heart of Jesus". And Kate, thank you for your personal comments - your words have made me feel less alone...
Years ago, at St. Norbert's, I was blessed to hear Sister Mary Jo Kirt speak on the message, "I have seen the face of GOD and lived!" Thank you, Sister Fran, for reminding me to see the abandoned, the recovering, the depressed and the fearful as if I were seeing the face of God. As always, thank you for your inspiration. Loretta
All those needs can be overwhelming. But, day by day, one person at a time, we can respond. If we really want to be challenged--ASK God to send us those people.
My computer has not been working so I am behind in the reflections. I am struck by the realization that Mary's instructions to those at Cana is very similar to GOD's instruction at both the Jordan and Mount Tabor: "Listen to him." In all the examples that Fran gives, that is what we must be about .... "Listen to and for the Voice of the Beloved speaking in and through each and all of these 'least.' Surely that is how we will be able to respond from hearts of love, wisdom, and compassion ..."