Reflection – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary time – August 29, 2021

For those of us who think God is silent, let’s take the ear plugs out of our hearts to hear, because God is never silent.

The first readings this past week were about how to live and conduct ourselves. In the gospels, it seems Jesus was shouting at us, trying to wake us up from our complacencies and privileged attitudes, “woe to us”. The messages we hear every year have not woken us up because we continue to live today as we did yesterday. Even in a pandemic, we continue to live in luxury and in abundance, at least in our western society. We have everything we could ever want at our fingertips and if we don’t have it, we can manipulate our way around to get it.

The story of the wake-up call continues in today’s readings. Deuteronomy tells us: don’t add or remove anything to God’s commandments. Human nature tends to minimize or rationalize what we are told, to suit ourselves. God is saying: stop doing that. We cannot manipulate God. The psalmist invites us to be authentic, by walking blamelessly and in truth. The letter of James talks about the necessity of action when we listen to God’s teachings; otherwise, we have a deaf ear. Jesus in the gospel spells out in detail all the ways in which we are hypocrites because He can see right through us. We are good at doing lip
service but missing in action. Jesus says, “their hearts are far from me”.

We are living in a pandemic, not just COVID, but pandemonium in countries where people are fighting for power and control. The earth is also retaliating through fires, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes, as we hear daily in the media. All of these exist because we put human nature first, or human traditions first, before God. Our actions are showing our distorted values and Jesus is calling out to us: “listen to me, all of you…”. Let’s listen with action and not just with words. Let us change our lives, our actions
and behaviors by walking our talk. Let’s be authentic Anishnabek Catholic Christians.

Let’s be honest and open enough to hear that still small voice inside of our hearts that is yelling at us: “wake up” and look around you. What are we doing to ourselves, our world and our future generations if there will be any? We need to return to our ancestors and our grandfathers’ teachings with courage to be respectful, honest, truthful, humble, and loving, thereby receiving the by-product of wisdom from a good and balanced life. We will be a “wise and discerning people” whose God is near whenever called upon.

~ Sr. Terry Beaudry, cps

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