by Sister Francis Bangert
In today’s first reading we learn of the unintended disconnect between Creator and creature. The Creator seeks out our first parents who are hiding because they listened to a deceptive outer voice who convinced them they could be as wise as God if they “ate the fruit of the tree.”
In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus says, ”whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” So how does one know the will of God? St. Catherine of Siena invites us to always live in the cell of our soul, where we learn both our own poverty ... that of ourselves we can do nothing ... and the awesome goodness of God. In humility, we recognize the need for heartfelt connection ... to self, to God and to others.
Desmond Tutu, a South African Anglican cleric and theologian, says the Bantu word "ubuntu" is difficult to translate in our language but that it means the very essence of being human. If you are ubuntu you are generous, hospitable, friendly, caring and compassionate. It means that my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours (paceebene.org). Family isn’t about whose blood you have -- it’s about who you care about.
This is the connection, the relationship that God desires for humanity. How might my vision of God’s dream need some adjustment?
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One has to wonder ... if the deception of Satan was in the implication that we (Adam & Eve, and all humanity) are NOT like-God, when in fact, God has said that we are, for God said we are made in God's own image and likeness. And notice, too, God uses PLURAL (as in Trinity: Creator ... In-Flesh-Redeemer ... Spirit) to convey this to us: "Then God said, 'Let us make humans in OUR image, in OUR likeness.'" (Gen.1:26)
In many ways, we have been deceived and misled into thinking we are never good enough, and therefore, never really loved. This is the great lie that JESUS came to un-do, once for ALL. JESUS LOVES. Period. And in doing so, JESUS affirms, "We are good." Period. If we know such LOVE, we, too, will LOVE others as JESUS loves. That is the Great Gift of Spirit-at-Work.
The Book of Wisdom tells us most assuredly: God made ALL and God loves ALL ... And we, knowing this, most especially in knowing this through JESUS, are created to LOVE this way, too.
THANK YOU to Sr. Joanne Goessl, who helped us 'hit a home run' with this message last night @ 'Silence and Sunset.' And THANK YOU Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross, for opening your hearts and your doors to us, to all.
I very much appreciate the opportunity to 'know' your grounds ... the holy and handiwork-of-God. Beauty. Peace. Wonder. Joy. And Gratitude ... so much gratitude as I came upon a mother killdeer, whose immediate shrill cries and instinctive feign of a broken wing, to lead me away from her precious young, spoke tenderly and powerfully to me ... especially as I had just prayed before the beautiful statue of Mary and Child JESUS, for our precious, precious Children of These Times ... Maybe that's somewhat of how Adele Brice felt, too. -- Linda
Love the all-inclusive “Ubuntu” reference. Thanks for another wonderful reflection Sr. Fran! -- Michelle