Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Walk with me, be my Sister, my Brother

By Beth DeCristofaro

They completed this house on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.  The children of Israel–priests, Levites, and the other returned exiles–celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. (Ezra 6:15-16)

(Jesus)  said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” (Luke 8:21)


Dear Jesus, as I call on you today I realize that I often come asking for favours.
Today I'd like just to be in your presence.  Let my heart respond to Your Love.
            ( www.sacredspace.ie )


The beginning of the book of Ezra declares:  the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to issue a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom (Ezra 1:1) … to free the Israelites and allow them to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.  At a time when the Chosen People must certainly have felt that their world was ending in disaster, the Lord intervened.  That was 1500+ years ago.

We are exiles today as well from the peace and joy which God wishes for us.  But we too have been freed, as Pope Francis reminds us:  Jesus has saved us and we are redeemed even if we still live in Babylon, Homs, Nairobi, Newtown, or relatively-safe and affluent Fairfax.  Just as the exiles of old, under Kings Cyprus, Darius and Artaxerxes, or later in Ephesus and Thessalonica we keep the faith within community.  Jesus told us who our community is - those who hear the word of God and act on it

We welcome our new Cursillista Sisters in Christ to this community, residing simultaneously as exiles and as saved, beloved of the Christ.   We shared an exhuberent Closing to a joy filled weekend.  Now the hard work of the Fourth Day begins.  Jesus knew that to hear His Father he needed to seek silence and solitude.  The voices of Kings, advertisements, sports events, work, shooters, and experts can drum the still steady voice of God from our awareness. 


If Jesus is our Ideal, if we find and heed Jesus at the center of our being, then we will not neglect or deny our mortal brothers, sisters and mothers whether they be kin or not.  How freeing this is!  Yet frightening too.  I cannot fulfill these responsibilities without the presence of Jesus at my side.  And I cannot help but fulfill them with joy when He is!  Where do you find yourself in exile today?  Ask for Jesus’ freedom for yourself and someone you know.

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