Recognizing God’s Blessing in our Lives

Reflection for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN board member, Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF

This reflection was originally posted in our October 3rd newsletter

During a recent community day of reflection on the issue of immigration I asked my sisters to reflect on the words of the Magnificat, Mary’s hymn of praise we pray each evening, in light of how we think about our nation’s borders. Borders, fences and walls, in our country and in many areas throughout the world, are often built to divide those who possess the necessities of life, the rich and mighty, from those who lack what they need to live with dignity, the lowly and hungry. In the times of Jesus and St. Francis barriers separated those with leprosy from the rest of the population. “The ten lepers ..stood at a distance from him.” (Luke 17: 12-13) We all have internal personal barriers, yet God’s love, mercy and healing is inclusive of us all even when we exclude God by excluding others made in the image and likeness of God.

People who experience their neediness on a daily basis, as did Naaman and the lepers in this week’s readings, are often inclined to recognize their dependence on God and the interdependence of all peoples. Thomas Merton wrote, “To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Gratitude never unresponsive.” In our readings this Sunday, both Naaman and the leper are grateful for their physical transformation but they also experience an internal conversion which opens them to the presence of God in their lives.

One may wonder if ingratitude for the many blessings we have as a nation is behind the discontent and intolerance that has been showcased during much of this election season. As a nation we are inarguably on the side of the border of the rich and mighty, not to deny that many in our country live in poverty and go to bed hungry. As a practice this week perhaps we could list three things each day for which we are grateful. The option to respond to any of the action alerts below or to those on the Franciscan Action Network website is a freedom not experienced by many throughout the world. We may all echo Mary’s words in the Magnificat, “God has done great things for me!”

Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF
FAN Board Member

Published in: on October 4, 2016 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  

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