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doveloveOur new “weather station” (a Christmas gift) told me it was 0 degrees this morning at our house while at the county airport it measured -4 F. The wind is still blowing so I’m staying off the highway for the second day and praying for the homeless people across the country and those with little or no heat in their homes. The news headlines are full of traffic pile-ups, shootings and the massacre of French journalists. It all makes me wonder when we will stem the tide of violence and begin to move toward the “peaceable kingdom.” It seems we’re going in the opposite direction in spite of all our advances in science, technology and available spiritual resources.

So today as I read Luke’s telling of the moment when Jesus stood up in the synagogue and quoted Isaiah saying, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…to bring glad tidings to the poor…to proclaim liberty to captives…to let the oppressed go free…(LK 4:14-22) I am drawn to pray the prayer of the psalmist called “A Song to the Messiah-King” (PS 72). Lord, give a deep-felt sense of justice to the Messiah-King, an awareness of the sustaining balances of the world. And this I pray so that people will be ruled on earth with equity and all the poor will no longer suffer pain…May he take those broken by our violence and make them new again…

I’d love to stop there but am pulled back to the first reading where the challenge of John goes right to my heart and I know I cannot leave all the responsibility to God’s love. If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother [or a sister] whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother [and sister]. May it be so, brothers and sisters, in our lifetime.