Reflection for Wednesday, April 29, 2015: 4th week of Easter.
Heider College of Business
Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
281. Year I, Easter.
281. Year I, Easter.
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Today we read "…the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.' Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off (Acts 13: 2-3)" and "…Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me (John 12: 48-50)."Biblical passages like those in today's readings have ever resonated mysterious and vague and circular when I try to discern what they convey exactly. Dizzying, really. What am I meant to glean from these readings with any certainty? And because today is also the Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, what insights can her wisdom teach me?First, and simply: I don't know everything, nor will I ever. I'm not God. It is also exceedingly comforting to know that I don't have to know everything because I know God, and collectively in all his forms…Father, Spirit and Man… He does know everything and He's always available to talk. "One who knows more, loves more (St Catherine of Siena, Dialogue 66)." The more I know and lean on and learn from God and his manifestations in the world and relationships immediately around me, the better I will be at life and at love.Second, and an easy thing to forget: Jesus is also familiar with what it feels like to be human and to not know everything. Like no other person before or after him, Jesus knew the comfort and union of leaning upon and communing with his Father and the Holy Spirit during periods of great uncertainty and amidst high stakes and controversy. There were no imperfections or barriers that separated Jesus from communicating with and trusting in his Father and the Spirit. "Obedient people never trust in themselves," St Catherine tells us (Letter T201).Third: "The soul cannot live without love. She always wants to love something because love is the stuff she is made of, and through love I created her (St Catherine of Siena, Dialogue 51)." Love is truly what makes the world go 'round. "There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a dead dog nine days unburied," Mary Oliver so aptly describes loveless life in her legendary poem, West Wind #2.Fourth, and somewhat difficult to discover for so many people: I have a purpose. "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire," is perhaps the most famous quote attributed to St Catherine of Siena, and don't we all wish to set our worlds on fire? What does it mean to be the most holy version of myself? Certainly the most holy version of myself is also the best version of myself. I am called simply to be the best unique me that I can be and to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" and to "Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these (Mark 12:30-31 NIV)." Notably, herein I have been given the freedom from Jesus' own lips to both engage my mind in my faith and to first love myself in my journey towards the best possible version of myself and my purpose.And last: "You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love (St Catherine of Siena, Dialogue 165)." And how is it that the measure of my love will increase? Go back and re-read Step 1 above:First, and simply: I don't know everything, nor will I ever. I'm not God. It is also exceedingly comforting to know that I don't have to know everything because I know God, and collectively in all his forms…Father, Spirit and Man… He does know everything and He's always available to talk. "One who knows more, loves more (St Catherine of Siena, Dialogue 66)." The more I know and lean on and learn from God and his manifestations in the world immediately around me, the better I will be at life and at love.