October 25th, 2003
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24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
“The earth and everything on it-the world and all who live
in it-belong to Our God.” Ps. 24:1
Our fall season is in full splendor. It is gorgeous in its colors of
red, gold and yellowish oranges on the background matte of greens still hanging
on / in nature. How easy to recognize God’s presence in the leaves’
glow in sunlight against the blue Nebraska skies and as winds whisk the showers
of colors to the earth! How appropriate today’s psalmist exclamation:
”The earth and everything on it- the world and all who live in it- belong
to our God.”
However, these very same colors – these beauties of nature- are miserable
dullness in the cold wet winds of the rainstorm on a cool grey October day.
Same trees, same colors…but different views and experiences.
Yet all is blessed – is of God.
All belongs to God…and is good. But how is that goodness realized…are
we attentive to that goodness inherent in God’s creation, not only around
us, but also in us? The psalmist proclaims that our God will bless
those who are sinless and who do not desire what is vain. Are we blessed?
How do we know?
In today’s reading from Romans we are reminded that “If the Spirit of the
One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, then the God who raised
Jesus from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through the
Spirit dwelling in you.” Do we experience that God-spirit in our lives
or are we inattentive/unresponsive to it? And what if we act as though
God’s presence is of no matter to us?
Luke’s gospel offers the parable of the fig tree. The owner saw the
tree as useless since it hadn’t produced fruit. But the gardener begged
to spare the tree so that he could spend more time to attend to the tree’s
needs of nourishment and care.
Is this how God views us? Perhaps in others’ or our own view,
we are discouraged…we give up hope of growing into God’s spirit….ready to
throw in the towel. We are tired – we don’t know where to turn for
hope as we struggle with our worries of the day.
But God says, ‘…no wait…perhaps with more care… you will bear fruit…become
more of who you are and can be.’
We are in God’s spirit… God’s spirit is within us. But how do we work
with the spirit of God…not turn our back on the living/dynamic presence of
the spirit? How do we assist others and ourselves to see that spirit
within …to breathe life into our sagging spirit to catch fire with God’s
life? Dorothy Day believed that we should practice God’s presence by
seeing God’s spirit in one another.
A few years ago we planted a gingko tree that didn’t seem to do well.
The tree nursery urged us to continue to care for it through the end of fall,
and into the following spring rather than to give up on it. I believe
that God encourages us to not give up on ourselves and others…but to recognize
and nurture the spirit within…coax it into the potential growth of God-made-real
in each of us.
I pray that I may be more patient with myself and others…to not give up,
but rather to nurture the spirit’s life alive by being attentive to who God’s
spirit is calling me/others to be. And I believe that God invites us
to join in as gardeners who continually say: “No wait…with more care you
will be all that God calls you to be!”
to the writer of this reflection.
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