Ask and you shall receive, forgiveness, Genesis, homecoming, hope, journey, lift up, Luke, Mary Magdalene, optimistic for the future, perseverance, prayer, Sisters of St. Joseph, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, wisdom
Today ends what the Sisters in my local community have taken to calling my “triathalon” which denotes the three legs of my journey from Windsor, NY to Orlando, Florida for a national convention, then to Japan (through Los Angeles and Honolulu) for a retreat with our Japanese Sisters, and back to Albany for a “Wisdom Circle” experience called Mary Magdalene and Conscious Love. It has only been sixteen days since I left home but it seems so much longer because of the fullness of each of the experiences.
The theme running through all of my days of travel has been the hope that lives in the hearts of the Sisters and others I have met. Regardless of the dire situations in our country and the world, we are optimistic for the future and grounded in a life of prayer because of our trust in the benevolence of the Divine Being who will not leave us to our own devices. All of us are held in relationship with God and one another in a bond that I experienced as a felt sense of joy and confidence in each place that I touched down.
I was reminded of this sense of optimism and the need to work toward the good by today’s lectionary readings about perseverance in prayer. We are called by Abraham’s courage in his famous plea to the God who was prepared to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of the wickedness abiding in those cities. Beginning with the question: “If there were 50 innocent inhabitants there, would you relent?” (GEN 18:20-32) Abraham continued to ask toward a greater favor asking: “What if there were 45…40…30…20…10???” God’s willingness to answer with alacrity that those cities would not be destroyed for the sake of the few innocent people tells me that, ultimately, God desires to forgive, not to punish or destroy. God is on our side.
Jesus knew that God and encouraged his followers to ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be opened to you. ( LK 11:1-13) All of my experiences during these days have convinced me of the need for us to pray – alone and together – for changes in ourselves and all around us that will bring us back to balance. This prayer cannot be a “sometimes” thing. We need to be serious and consistent to actually “be the change we wish to see in the world.” Thus our prayer will become our way of living and lift up the quality of life for everyone. We will “come home” to our deepest selves and meet each other at each step of our journeys. In this way wherever we find ourselves in the world will be recognized as home and we will be welcome there.