“We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” — Romans 8:22-23
This Sunday is the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings can be found here. The Gospel reading is the wonderful parable of the sower. I can especially relate to this parable as I have (and continue to) fit each of the descriptions in my life. While I strive to fit the description of the fertile soil where the seed takes root, way too often I fall short.
This week’s reflection comes from St. Mary of the Woods Parish in Chicago, IL USA. You can find the full reflection here but set forth below is an excerpt which focuses on the wonderful Second Reading from St. Paul (including an apt reference to Teilhard de Chardin):
“If we pay attention to St. Paul, we are the hopeful apocalypse for our time.
Christian faith stresses, not the technologies, but the persons who use them, making the connection between person and community. Our image of the future universe is not a thing or a process, but a person, Jesus Christ, the Risen One. Teilhard de Chardin tells us that “… it is in no way metaphorical to say that man finds himself capable of experiencing and discovering his God in the whole length, breadth and depth of the world in movement. (The Phenomenon of Man, P.297).” In Jesus, our humanity connects with God’s Word and with the universe created through that Word.
St. Paul’s complaint is that we don’t recognize the unifying possibilities of our humanity nor the positive and practical effects we can have on the world we live in. In Paul’s understanding, we are giving birth with the universe to a new and exciting world. How can we claim boredom and apathy in this perplexing adventure of human life?
It seems that someone has fooled us into thinking that soul saving spirituality has to do with separation rather than solidarity. Only by straining do we see ourselves as connected, one to another, or to the world around us. It seems that we, while we seek to leave our loneliness by connecting with others, history or life itself, we don’t quite know what to do with ourselves once we connect. We end up scratching around to find more reason for separation than cooperation.
As Christians, we are not the celebrants of the scattered and chaotic. We are rather a sacrament of humanity’s connection to the universe that is loved and the God who is love. We say we believe in Christ who transforms our world; why not, then, act on our belief and, in our glorious diversity, celebrate being one?”