The three themes that speak to me from today’s Readings are: 1) “the marvels the Lord has done,” 2) justice, and, 3) “pray always without becoming weary.”
At this time of year, autumn, I can not help but think of “the marvels the Lord has done.” The Creator is so revealed in the beauty of Nature at this season. It is as if the trees were putting on a fashion show for us – each tree more beautiful than the last. And, all the trees, in concert, proclaiming the beauty of creation. The magnificent colors – yellow, gold, rust, red! Today the sun is providing such warmth as I write this. I can only say “This is a give Glory to God day!” I am suffused with warmth, light, color, and beauty. Thank you, Lord!
Was it coincidence that I was assigned to write a reflection for this particular date or was it a God-moment? My Achilles heel is justice – much of what motivates me in life is a quest toward justice and to be a part of furthering justice. I read the Gospel for today and still struggle with the idea of justice. I read “that justice is done for them speedily” – but, I struggle with the knowledge that I don’t always see that. I see and know about so much injustice.
On my spiritual journey I increasingly “take on” the roles of the individuals in the Gospel stories. How many times have I been the judge who neither feared God nor respected others? I live a comfortable material life and think that I have a lot of control over my life – am I more like the judge than I would like to think? Do I respect others? The easy answer is to say yes. The deeper reflection is to wonder or say no. Do I think about many behaviors I do everyday and choices I make? Perhaps, I’m respectful to those people I physically encounter everyday. But, what about consumer choices I make – am I being respectful globally to many people I don’t physically encounter, but my choices cause them non-respect. I listened to a NPR radio story this morning about one more corporate leader who is indicted in a financial situation. At the time I thought about the many peoples’ lives who will be negatively affected because of his financial behaviors. Following that, I read today’s Gospel – what behaviors of mine are non-respectful? Am I the judge? Or, am I like the widow? Do I have the faith that justice will come? That justice will endure?
I still struggle with wanting justice – and, what my life journey is in furthering justice. But, I do agree with the “necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” And, that is not easy. Over time, my spiritual journey has included daily inclusion of part of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius– every night before sleep I reflect on my day and identify consolations and desolations. And, I attempt, even if weary, to always, at the minimum, identify one consolation and desolation before sleep overtakes me.
God has given me marvels to behold, the Word to reflect on and examine my life, and a continuing spiritual struggle to figure out the justice paradox.
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