“Thus says the LORD: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own.”
“…your good deeds must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
There are times when the world appears to be falling apart. For many people, this is one of those times. Writing nearly 15 years ago, Sr. Joan Chittister wrote,
The world is getting smaller, they tell us, but we know that it is also getting to be more than that. It is getting infinitely more confusing, infinitely more uncontrollable at the same time. We are now a people whose children are born in one state, educated in another, employed in a third, retired in a fourth, and buried in a fifth. We are people who wear clothes made in one nation, eat food grown in another, and work for someone who is a citizen of a third. We are a people who travel the world and take it for granted. We are a globe on which some of the largest economies in the world are corporations, not nations. We are people born in a white, Western Christian culture that we watch become more brown, more Eastern, more polyvalent every day (Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope).
This statement is even truer today.
How do we live in this bewildering world?
It’s not rocket science. “Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own” (Is. 58:7-10). We are called to live in this constantly changing world with gentleness and peace. The beatitudes (Mt. 5:1-12) are our guide. No matter how perplexing the situation is, we are called to live as disciples of Jesus, giving and receiving love.
This gives us a starting point to engage our culture. When we are confronted with new situations we can look to the guidance of Jesus through the teaching of the church. During these changing times, it is more important than ever to stay rooted in prayer. Being a disciple does not make life easier, but it does help us find clarity in the midst of constant change.
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood