People often ask me these days if I am retired. I’m no longer shocked at the question, especially since I am now 70 years old (an amazing statistic that still surprises me sometimes!). I have been blessed thus far with good health and am grateful for meaningful and creative work that continues to present itself.
This morning I was reminded in two of the lectionary readings of this blessing. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul is talking about faith and says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” Psalm 100 follows this theme, opening with a call to “Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before God with joyful song!”
On Saturday, I spent the day with over a hundred Sisters of St. Joseph – a few younger and many older than myself. Many of these women are retired from active ministry but virtually all of them continue to understand the truth that we are God’s handiwork. This, then, becomes for all of us the most important “work,” calling us daily to love as God has loved us. It is about our being rather than about our doing. For some of us that is a difficult lesson but once learned, it makes all the difference. It is my hope to have totally accepted that reality when all I have left for others is love.