May 7, 2023
Sister Evangeline Salazar, OSB shares a reflection on the scripture readings: Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33; Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12
A human being is part of a whole,
called by us “Universe,”
a part limited in time and space.
We experience ourselves,
our thoughts, and feelings,
as something separate from the rest—
a kind of optical delusion
of our consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison for us,
restricting us to our personal desires and affections,
for a few people near us.
Our task must be to free ourselves
from this prison
by widening our circle of compassion
to embrace all living creatures,
and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Albert Einstein, 1879-1955
Jesus’ mission was to choose and form
a small community of men and women
whose mission was to spread His word
to the ends of the Earth.
In forming this small community of diverse believers,
the Apostles encountered several problems.
To find solutions, the leaders held
what we might call a synod;
they gathered the community to decide
how to resolve each problem.
By widening their circle of compassion,
speaking up and listening to one another,
they formed a Christian community of believers.
Pope Francis, in Fratelli tutti, reminds us,
“When conflicts in community are not resolved
but kept hidden…silence can lead to complicity
in grave misdeeds and sins.
does not flee from conflict, but is achieved in conflict,
resolving it through dialogue and open,
honest, and patient negotiation.”
In Acts, the widows and their supporters
because the needs of the poor and vulnerable
were being ignored
by the rich and powerful.
The leaders took the problem to the community,
and as a sign of the validity of the complaint
they came up with a solution
they could live with.
Pope Francis believes
authentic community calls us to
genuine dialogue: looking at the other with care,
touching the other, speaking,
and creating a culture of encounter.
Sister Mary McGlone believes
we cannot build community without encounter.
we cannot be the chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a spiritual house,
without opening ourselves
to one another,
especially in our differences.
Jesus calls us to enter into Him;
“May all be one, as you father are in me,
and I in you, that they may be one in us.
This is our call! Are we up to it?