Each of us has something to say, something to share. Each week, a reflection will be posted that focuses on the Scriptures of the upcoming Sunday. We hope these reflections will be a meaningful way to help us prepare to receive the Word of God at Mass each weekend, and to engage with the Word more fully in our lives.
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Moira Egan Has Something To Say Sunday Sept 30th 2018
some hard words from James and Jesus in this Sunday’s readings!In these difficult days, I was hoping for
something a bit more explicitly comforting.While “gentle Jesus meek and mild” does not resonate with me, on first
reading, these Scriptures seem to go too far the other way.James, what are you yelling at me for; I
haven’t stolen anybody’s wages!Go tell
…; they’re the ones who need to change their ways.The Gospel’s shocking language of self-harm
and implied link between physical disability and sin is not exactly an opening
for dialogue.Yet we are called to
acknowledge and take seriously challenging messages, even, or maybe especially,
when they make us uncomfortable.
readings give us the chance to reflect on community.We are called to put aside what is
individually easy, familiar or convenient to work for the common good.While it’s true that I have not literally
withheld anybody’s wages, I can certainly be more careful to purchase goods
produced with ethical labor practices.Especially
in this Season of Creation, I can bypass the quick and easy single-serve pods
and use a refillable filter in the office coffee machine.When we hear racist, sexist, ageist or
homophobic remarks from friends or colleagues, it’s hard to challenge them, and
tempting to ignore them if nobody from the demeaned group was present. Present or not, somebody was devalued and our
challenge to that devaluing can help a friend or colleague grow.
Rather than going on the defensive
or letting myself off the hook because of exaggerated or unhelpful metaphorical
language, upon deeper reflection, I think of James and Jesus as caring friends
whose desire for us to be truly who we are may carry them away on
occasion.When furthering the beloved
community seems like a tall order, we have such helpful guides in Jesus’ life
and in each other.We know that Jesus
was tempted to take the easy way out and drew strength from prayer and
friendship.We can do that too.We know we can’t end violence, injustice or
climate change individually, but that doesn’t mean we give up.Working together, Wow!Just think of the possibilities.
******* Moira Egan is part of the leadership team of The Women Who Stayed, and a member of the Xavier Peace and Justice Committee.