September 25, 2017
by Kimberly Grassmeyer
Creighton University's Interdisciplinary Leadership
Graduate College
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 449

Ezra 1:1-6
Psalms 126:1b-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6
Luke 8:16-18

Praying Ordinary Time

As I write this reflection, several weeks prior to its publication, I am still reeling along with many others in the country at the mass of destruction left in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  So many lost so much, and yet so many more of our neighbors lost what little they had to begin with.  Families that welcomed and sheltered me during Dominican Republic mission visits, for example, have homes not built to withstand such wind and rain, and as of today I don’t yet have information on these families and their well being.  And so, I trust and I pray. 

We (the United States) are a nation with so very much: infrastructure, emergency preparedness, homes, cars, disaster relief, communications, food, batteries – our list is endless.  Yet many of our island neighbors lacking in these resources will have difficulty accessing the basics of clean water and food.  How are we called to help our citizens and our neighbors?

Today’s Old Testament Lesson eloquently tells of Cyrus’ call out to those who “belong(s) to any part of his people” to build a ‘house for the LORD in Jerusalem.’ 

Let everyone who has survived, in whatever place he may have dwelt,
be assisted by the people of that place.

How appropriate and how lovely those words rang for me!  That brief passage, beautifully written, keeps rolling through my head. The context is different, to be sure – Cyrus was honoring God by building a ‘house’ where the people could worship, while storm victims need homes for themselves.  But Christ Jesus reminded us that what we do for the least of them, we do for HIM.  If that is our guiding principle, it is also a Call To Action: we are called at times of great destruction AND in our daily lives to share with and be in solidarity with one another. 

That call is very real today.

If I reflected on the words above as a general call, then the Gospel reading from Luke 8:16-18 reminded me that I cannot be complacent and let others meet this obligation.  Yes, the general call is for everyone, but it is also for ME.  I have to OWN IT. 

No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.

The same message from Luke is conveyed with more clarity (for me) in Matthew 5:14-16:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I am reminded by these readings that it is MY LIGHT that is needed in this darkness.  YOUR LIGHT is needed, too, but ‘it is my duty and my joy’ to respond, model and share it with others.  The action begins with me, so for today I ask God for the courage and the grace to ‘be the light’, and pray that you may feel the call as well.  May God’s blessings be with you this day. 

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