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Illustration by Sr. Marion Honors, CSJ

Today is the feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles. The job description of these followers of Jesus was one of proclamation, telling their immediate (and sometimes far flung) world what they had learned in the company of Jesus, specifically about spreading the message of love. Psalm 19 attests to that ministry. We read this morning: Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; through all the earth their voice resounds and to the ends of the world their message.

If that were not enough to call us to celebrate the presence of God, the psalmist broadens out the reach of the message earlier in the psalm, singing: The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day pours out the word to day and night to night imparts knowledge. Last evening that glory was visible to a group of participants at the Sophia Center. Sister Linda Neil, CSJ was skillfully flashing slide after slide of images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope interspersed with the art of Sister Marion Honors, CSJ in a magnificent reflection on the place of humans in the universe. It was, as the psalmist knew so long ago, glorious!

We have, of course, been blessed many times over by the discoveries and inventions of the human mind even just in our lifetime. What was clear last night and again in my thoughts this morning is the magnificence of human creativity and the centrality of the work of the human heart. Our great artists attest to this – but so do we all in what we contribute to the growth and care of the universe, our home. Knowing that, I give thanks for my sister who celebrates her birthday today. She has been a beacon of generosity to people and to causes of justice & charity throughout her life both professionally and personally. Her care for the next generation of extended family is clear in the joy young cousins always take in her presence to them and her interest in the goings-on of their lives. So for all of the above, especially for God’s “handiwork” in the creation of my sister, I sing in gratitude and wonder.