I am amazed. How is it that scripture written 2000 years ago is still applicable in contemporary society? Think about this for a while. Human nature is quite fascinating and frightening. Yet, we clearly do not tend to learn from our previous mistakes. Not on a historical basis (think of responses to famine, natural disasters, nuclear crisis, racism, war, trade) nor do we on a personal basis.
The first reading stopped me in my tracks. I am plunged into the reality of suffering in humanity that has happened across the millennia. The reading from Genesis brings forth a parallel to the crisis today at our southern border. I will not soon forget Oscar Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter Angie Valeria tucked under her daddy’s t-shirt.
On any given day, I read of egregious acts that occur here in the USA. I am appalled. I post about these ‘items’ in my social media. I have conversations with my coworkers, family, and friends. The next day, the topic changes as new situations and concerns are raised and discussed. Nothing gets resolved. Yes, we may add a specific instance to our prayers for a few days. Then after a couple more days, those too get set aside to begin a new list. Yet are these concerns all that different?
Joseph was giving stored grains to feed his countrymen. He fed all who came to him “for famine had gripped the whole world.” When Joseph’s brothers came to him, he locked them up in the guardhouse for three days… One brother says, “Did I not tell you not to do wrong to the boy? But you did not listen.”
We are called to be disciples. We are given this charge when we are baptized. We have Jesus’ teachings and those of the Church for direction and guidance. It is up to us to be well versed in these so we can listen and follow the examples Jesus and the apostles gave us. When we don’t listen to our charge to be disciples of Christ we can cause pain, suffering, and wrongs to our fellow man. Our Bishops are again calling for change.
There are seven Catholic social teachings themes of 1) Life and Dignity of the Human Person, 2) the Call to Family, Community, and Participation, 3) Rights and Responsibilities, 4) the Poor and Vulnerable, 5) the Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers, 6) Solidarity, and 7) Care for God’s Creation. All of these can help give us direction and challenge to our way of looking at the world. It is up to each of us to choose how to do what is in Right Relationship with these core Catholic teachings. The Holy Spirit is here to help us on this journey right now.
Come Holy Spirit, enkindle in us the fire of your love. Teach us your ways. Help me to be an instrument of action in the world. May we strive to be part of Right Relationships within our lives and communities for all people. Amen.
Beth is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She brings a unique depth of experience to the group due to her time spent in education, parish ministries, sales and the service industry over the last 25 yrs. She is a practicing spiritual director as well as a Secular Franciscan (OFS). Beth is quick to offer a laugh, a prayer or smile to all she comes in contact with. Reach her here firstname.lastname@example.org.