Friday, May 25, 2018

Our Inheritance

Dear Friends,

Robert Indiana, the pop artist of the 60s, died last week. His most memorable piece was the square containing word “LOVE” broken into two lines, with a tilted “O.” Sculptures of “LOVE” can be seen in public places around the world. It is featured on greeting cards, wall prints, jewelry, and stamps. “LOVE” is the inheritance the world has received from Robert Indiana.

World Heritage sites around the world are those designated antiquities, whole villages and other human creations that are being preserved so that they can be visited and honored by generations. The world wept when ISIS blew up World Heritage sites in Syria and Iraq.

This weekend, we remember those who have died in service to the nation during all the wars from our national beginning. We honor these men and women and weep for our loss of them. We bless their lives however long or short they were, no matter where their mortal remains now lie. We remember them and their contribution to the freedom and bigness of life we have inherited through their sacrifice.

All of these – people, places, creations we can claim as our inheritance. There’s more. Among other gifts, we have inherited: 
     God our Creator, Redeemer and Holy Spirit (You are my inheritance, O Lord.)
     Life from our parents and ancestors
     Talents and qualities of our character embedded in our genes
     The Church shaped by the Lord and all who have made it durable and lasting for over 2000 years
     Freedom as a nation
     Life-enhancing ideas and inventions from philosophers, theologians, inventors, artists and musicians, engineers, storytellers, truth tellers and peacekeepers
     The earth with all its power, potential and fragile.

The common inheritance we share binds us together as human beings. We don’t always recognize the many aspects of our heritage. We sometimes pass them by as if they didn’t matter or pertain to us.

One of the characteristics of our time is the devaluing of our inheritance. Oh! We would never say it that way, but it’s nonetheless true. We walk away from family, church, God, because they do not meet our expectations. They demand from us more than we want to give or the way we want to give it. We have concluded that we need not treasure them. Captive to this viewpoint, we suffer immense, unrecognized loss, and the inheritance we bear begins to lose its potency for the future.

This holiday weekend, let’s reconsider what we believe about ourselves and what we believe about those who have passed on to us a rich, varied, inexhaustible inheritance. Drugs do not satisfy. The social media ironically keeps us separated from one another. Money can’t buy the things for which we have an unquenchable thirst. Only our divine and human inheritance will do all of this, and more.

~Sister Joan Sobala