Monday, September 21, 2015

Standing Outside

By Melanie Rigney

King Darius issued an order to the officials of West-of-Euphrates: “Let the governor and the elders of the Jews continue the work on that house of God; they are to rebuild it on its former site.” (Ezra 6:7)

Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. (Psalm 122:1)

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” (Luke 8:19-21)

Lord, grant me the faith to act when I hear your Word.

The liturgical calendar may say ordinary time, but this is no ordinary time in the United States. Pope Francis arrives late this afternoon at Joint Base Andrews. Over the next five days, he’ll have a dizzying schedule of events from Washington to New York to Philadelphia. Don’t have a ticket/unable to wait outside for hours in hopes of catching a glimpse during a parade or procession? No worries. The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops has put together a list of ways you can participate from the comfort of your own home or special prayer place. There is no reason to stand outside of all the excitement… and love and joy and hope.

Could there be a more perfect Gospel reading for this day, for this world, at this time? Sometimes we feel isolated by our sins and insecurities, despairing that the things we have said or done will always leave us spiritually standing outside of God’s family with no hope of being invited in. Jesus’s message is simple: everyone is invited to be part of the family, one of the cool kids, among those who sit at the big table in the meeting room. All any of us has to do is listen, and obey. Obey by loving the Lord. Obey by loving your neighbor. Obey by loving yourself for the beautiful son or daughter you are. Love. That’s all it takes to come inside. There’s always room for one (or one billion) more.

Invite a non-practicing Catholic to participate with you in one of the items on the USCCB list. Spread the mercy and the joy.

No comments: