Daily Reflection
December 10th, 2002
Joan Lanahan
Chaplain, Occuaptional & Physical Therapy Programs
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 96:1-2, 3, 10, 11-12, 13
Matthew 18:12-14

Today we are a people of exile.  Isaiah’s words:

“Comfort, give comfort to my people, speak tenderly that her service (exile) is at an end”  

are as true for each and all of us as they were for the Israelites of old.  Isaiah was proclaiming the everlasting love of God for ALL PEOPLES and God’s PROMISE of freedom, peace and joy.

Who do you think of as people of exile?  Refugees, homeless on our streets, prisoners, those not covered by health insurance, sadly even some elderly in our nursing homes are written as exiles in our newspapers.  We each have times of exile; some have lives of exile.   We turn away from loved ones.  We are afraid of meaningful relationships.  We grasp for Money and Possessions to fill our lonely hearts.  There is no use in pointing the finger at others when all we need to do is look in a mirror to see an exile.

How do we come home to God?  We welcome the “little ones,” reach out to those in need, acknowledge our vulnerability and need to be loved.  In times of personal suffering, e.g. loss of a job or a loved one, or the threat of war, we can reach out to others, especially to God.  God will answer us in the loving face and hands of another.

As I hear more words of war, I am afraid and appalled.  Many of our Christian Life Community members feel the same.  We share our fears and threat of horror for all the world, as the U.S. threatens war.   We pray together and advocate for peace.   We look for signs of God in our world today.

Jesus’ words:

“it it not the will of your heavenly Father that one of the little ones should be lost.”

Surely this means that God will not turn away from us in this time of threat.  We are all “little ones” today.  As Richard Rohr, ofm, says:
“we need to fall into the hands of the Living God” and trust God will bring us out of this exile time, home to God in peace with one another.

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