Friday the 28th Week in Ordinary Time
(Ephesians 1: 11-14, Luke 12:1-7)
“When I am gone, always be reminded that whenever you stand for your truth, you will be keeping my voice and the voices of our nations and our people alive” (Sacheen, Littlefeather; Breaking the Silence). In 1973, Littlefeather was the first Native American to appear at the Academy Awards when Marlon Brando asked her to refuse the Oscar on his behalf. The drama of that evening highlighted the necessity of living byand for moral values. As members of the Body of Christ, we are sacramental people.Our words and actions should signify divine truth. Through baptism, we have been made children of God and heirs of the Kingdom. Through our forebears in the faith, God has passed on to us the mystery of his sovereign will and the grace of redemption. Through the mystery of the Incarnation, the Word of God took flesh and became tangible. By the movement of the Holy Spirit, God has called us to make the Saving Word living and active in our day. Our response to this call will be countercultural because, as the Lord said, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, and your ways are not like my ways: (Is. 55:8).
By the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God has united all the members of the human race in His Beloved Son. Gazing upon us with the eyes of mercy, God has recreated us. The creator and sustainer of the universe has entrusted to us the care of all that he has made. It is here that we stand in opposition to a consumer-minded society. Recall this cautionary note from Saint Paul. “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though it were not a gift?” (1 Cor. 4:7). Saint Matthew records Jesus’s command. “What you have received as a gift, give as a gift” (Mat. 10: 8). This command is expanded in another passage. “You wicked servant. I forgave your whole debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have been generous towards your fellow servant, as I dealt generously with you?” (Mat. 18:32-33) He who dispenses his blessings according to his good pleasure expects us to be generous to those in need. This is why we were made, to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers and helpers. We who have received mercy upon mercy because of God’s infinite patience with us are called to be fountains of love and compassion for all the members of the human race, especially the poor and marginalized. The Lord gave us an example when he emptied himself to fill us up. Every time we pour ourselves out in the service of others we manifest God’s superabundant loving-kindness to us.
These days there are many sad and distressing things happening. But even amid hardship and pain, we can be agents of love and compassion. We must not be afraid to testify to the immensity of God’s love for all people. It’s as easy as reaching out a hand to do good, showing the love of Christ, drying a tear bringing comfort to the lonely, showing the way to one who is lost, consoling the broken-hearted, helping the fallen, teaching those looking for the truth, or offering an erring soul a fresh start. By learning to place the blessings God has given us at the service of others we can provide for the needs of the poor and help heal our wounded humanity. Littlefeather, who died October 2, 2022, concluded her remarks on that night in 1973 with these beautiful words. “I beg at this time that I have not intruded upon this evening and that we will in the future, our hearts and our understandings will meet with love and generosity.”