Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Refining and Redefining Our World

Dear Friends,

Last Saturday, Our Sister Anita Kurowski made her final profession, and what a glorious, joyful occasion it was. Thank God for moments of hope and conviction like this. We need it as we find the world around us vastly disturbed by events in Iraq, Syria, the self-proclaimed ISIS caliphate, Ferguson, the Ukraine, and with the immigration issues needing attention and resolution. We are disturbed, too. Where are human rights and respect for one another? Where is the recognition that our world is held in the loving embrace of God and that we are at our best when we live as though that embrace matters?

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief, instructs the central text of Rabbinic Judaism called the Talmud.
Do justice now.
Love mercy now.
Walk humbly now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
But neither are you free to abandon it.

The writings that eventually became organized into the Talmud about 200CE were well known to Jesus and, indeed, to Hebrews long before Jesus. They were key parts of the oral tradition that the Hebrews put into practice as best they could. We find a similarly worded call in Micah 6.8. Justice, humility and mercy were woven into the actions, teachings and spirit of Jesus

Perhaps a practice for this new month might be to read the Gospel, looking at how these three specific characteristics are exemplified on every page: What does the Gospel tell us about justice, mercy and humility?  How are they manifest and unquestionable in Jesus? What do other Gospel figures tell us, pro or con, about these virtues?

What must you and I  be and do, in our time and place, so that justice, mercy and humility refine and  redefine our world today? Do not abandon the work!
~Sister Joan Sobala

PS. Fresh Wind in Our Sails, the spirituality program of the Sisters of Saint Joseph is starting a new season.  Here are upcoming programs for Sept at the SSJ Motherhouse:

Tuesday, Sept. 16    10 – 11.30 am    How to Deepen Your Gifts for Mission Sr. Mary Lou Heffernan
Wednesday, Sept. 24   7 – 8.30 pm   Encouraging the New Immigrants Among Us
                            With Isabel Miller of Saints’ Place and Kathy La Bue of Mary’s Place