This past Sunday the Bishops of Saskatchewan released a description of their response in support of the Truth and Reconciliation commission. Please read the letter from our website to better understand the vast issues surrounding Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
In former bulletins we have described the wrongs of the Church in the words of the philosopher Ivan Illich as a “betrayal of relationship,” where desires for power and money have closed the minds and hearts of the hierarchy, and thus communities, to the Spirit of the Divine Trinity. In a reflection on Pentecost and the need for our hearts to be ignited by the fire of the Holy Spirit, Brian McLaren writes that over the centuries, since the early Church, “We’ve traded the gentle dove of peace for the predatory hawk or eagle of empire”.
And today’s reading from Matthew calls the Church and us back (as always) to Truth. In this story Jesus tells us to stop our obsession with stuff: clothes, drinks, restaurants, fashion . . . God knows we need these things, but that’s not all there is. “Seek first his kingdom and his justice,”
(Mt 6:33) and these other things will fall into place.
Ok, we may not be birds or lilies resplendent without worry about money, but the opposite is seen in human behaviour—when we seek money rather than God’s justice, what is left? We have a world where atrocities are committed by people against people.
And justice? It’s not revenge, punishment, retribution. “What is God’s justice? It is certainly not our Western image of a blindfolded woman standing with a scale and weighing the different sides. God’s justice is delivered simply by God being true to God’s nature. And what is God’s nature? Love. God is love, so God’s justice is in fact total, steadfast love, total unconditional giving of love. ([aka] … “restorative justice” instead of retributive justice.)” (R.Rohr, 06/07/21)
So what do I do? I can recognize the difference between manifesting my faith in words or in actions; I can open my heart to be on fire. I can open my mind and arms to others who are different from me. This is easier said than done. Living God’s love requires patience, endurance, and the discernment of personal prayer, the wisdom of faith tradition, and the shared support of community. Together we are better.