A Maryknoll sister reflects on the abyss between reality and God’s vision of abundant life for us in the Mass readings for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
The first reading and the gospel for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time provide us a glimpse of the reality of the people at the time. The first reading mentions violence, destruction, discord, strife and misery. The Gospel describes a world of servants and masters in their proper places.
It is a reality quite similar to the reality of our world today. It is not a world where we love our neighbor as ourselves, as Jesus commanded us, nor is it a world where everyone has life to the fullest, as he promised.
In the first reading, the author laments that God doesn’t heed their cry and intervene. In the Gospel, the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith.
In both readings, the response from God and Jesus is not a magic wand that will make everything alright. Instead, God invites the people to participate in making a world anew. The people are invited to write the vision and have faith as the vision will surely come.
This invitation is true for us today. We are being invited by God to write the vision. How would we write the vision? Would our vision be in sync with the vision of God for us? What is God’s vision for us, for our world? Simply, a world where everyone has life to the fullest, where we love one another as God has loved us.
Jesus’ narrative of the servant and the master in the Gospel sounds harsh, with the servant required to do only as commanded. However, if it is taken in the context of following Jesus’ commandment to “love one another as I have love you” and “love your neighbor as yourself,” then our world will be living profitably in love.
The readings invite us to have faith, make God’s vision our own, and, with God, live towards the realization of that vision, a world of love and life to the fullest for all creation.
Sister Montiel currently serves on on the Congregational Leadership Team of the Maryknoll Sisters.
Featured image: Sister Leonor Montiel (blue shirt) holds a baby of a family in Cambodia, where she worked in various ministries. (Sean Sprague/Cambodia)