August 7, 2022
Sister Evangeline Salazar, OSB shares a reflection on the scripture readings:
Wisdom 18:6-9; Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19; Luke 12:32-48
Do not be afraid any longer, little flock.
I love this Gospel!
Jesus tells me not to be afraid.
And he calls me little.
I like that because I am little.
I don’t know about the flock part;
I always associate that with sheep
and I don’t think I fit into that category.
And when He says any longer
I assume He knows I have been afraid most of my life
so now I can stop being afraid.
And remember, Jesus is speaking to all of us.
God wants to give us the Kingdom.
We don’t have to be afraid anymore.
He has our back.
So, we don’t have to be afraid anymore.
And how do we achieve this amazing feat?
Sell whatever we own or give it away, He says.
That’s doable since I don’t have much. How about you?
Jesus proceeds to tell a story.
Jesus loves telling stories. I love stories.
Hearing them and telling them.
Jesus tells the story about the servants
who await the arrival of the master from a wedding party.
The apostles on hearing the story get a little anxious.
I’m going to digress a little bit here.
The description of each apostle in THE CHOSEN is very profound,
and if you have not met these men and women
it behooves you to do so.
Knowing the apostles, we can understand
Peter’s question to Jesus.
Are these stories for us or are they for everyone else?
Do not be afraid. How could they not be afraid?
Jesus was asking the apostles to give away the things they owned.
To give up the things they clung to:
their anxiety, their ambition to be great, their need to please,
to go where they were called,
to be ready for what was to be rather than to be satisfied
with what is.
Jesus asked the apostles
to put Faith into action.
All Jesus asked of the apostles, and asks of us,
is to believe in His message,
to act like we believe because
that is the way to bring about the world we hope to be in.
Do not be afraid, Jesus says to us today.
Do not be afraid to let go of those places, things, and attitudes
that we have relied on to make us safe.
Pope Francis tells us, “When we realize that everything is gift,
our goods and even our beliefs take on new meaning.”
“Human beings,” Francis says, are so made that they cannot live,
Develop, or find fulfillment except in the sincere gift of self to others.”
That reminds me of the incident in THE CHOSEN where Jesus asks Peter
to take Matthew along to recuse the woman who had relapsed.
Peter’s profound change of heart was remarkable.
Pope Francis believes that life exists where there is communion
and that life is stronger than death when it is built
on true relationships.
I’m going to borrow from Mary McGlone’s reflection, National Catholic Reporter July 22, 2022.
What if we really believe the words of Pope Francis?
What is we believed that we have nothing to fear
in sharing what gives us security
because it’s all gift?
What if we believed, like Abraham,
that the unknowable future God offers us
is worth more than the present we are used to?
What if we believed that loving relationships
are the only treasure that will never wear out
and that our greatest potential
is to be in communion with all of God’s creation?
Today, we are invited into the future we long for
at the deepest level of our being.
We will get there only by leaving behind our fears and pessimism,
donating our riches, venturing beyond our normal surroundings,
treasuring our connections with all God’s people,
watching for God to show up unpredictably
and in unfamiliar disguise—
Let’s do it!