I will restore their fortune, bringing them back…to the land of their origin (Ezekiel 29:14)
Some time ago I had the privilege of returning to my home town and surrounding areas where I saw most of the people and places I wanted to see. I had the distinct impression, however, that I was not the only one who had arranged the meetings and events of this “letter perfect” time. The Giver of all gifts must have had a hand in it too. One of the most satisfying experiences was visiting friends, among them a friend of college days and some Sisters I had been stationed with during early mission assignments. Our conversations were more than catching up on things that happened to us since we last saw each other. We shared our perspectives, which had changed considerably, and our values which had changed very little. Perhaps most enriching of all was the feeling tone in these encounters. We entered into each other’s world of hopes and joys, disappointments and fears. We had come to the place from which our life stories had emerged and which were continuing. Someone cynically inclined might have said my visit made me soar too high and I needed to come down to earth. On the contrary, I think the world of the mundane which this cynicism seems to imply is always with us, but it constitutes only the topsoil of our real lives. How often do we spend time talking chit-chat and getting involved in (or unduly disturbed by) so many peripheral things that we do not notice what is happening beneath the surface? Though a certain amount of the mundane is inevitable, most of the superficiality we engage in is a waste of time and can actually impede what could be for us a fruitful and nourishing life. Jesus came down to earth literally. Through His incarnation He was not just superficially involved in our lives.
Jesus, help us reciprocate by being more involved with your concerns for our world!
Sister Mary E. Penrose is a Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. She edits readings for the liturgical Hours and writes reflections for the Community. And she is a tutor for the African Sisters attending The College of St. Scholastica. She was editor of a journal, Spirit & Life, for 18 years.