Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

“Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.

Luke in this passage is pointing out that the Reign of God is not being built, but that it had already arrived. It was in place surrounding and penetrating every person, but people missed it through their anxieties, their ego, and power driven need for control.

In the words of Br. Nicolas Bartoli:

“The way of Jesus means taking each passing moment as an opportunity for surrender to God’s Love. And as we practice allowing ourselves to simply rest in Christ’s embrace, we begin to realize that this joy Jesus talks about isn’t just an emotion we feel, it’s who we’re meant to be.”

The reign of God is found in the presence of community where we share, meet each other half way, and work out our differences. We need to listen to each other.  Jesus sums up his ministry in the words, “Love thy neighbor as thy self,” and calls us to love each other, to see each other as simply on the same journey to  God. He calls us to provide for each other, to respect each other, and to step back and surrender to his smile of love, and care for others.

In a part of her poem “At the River” Mary Oliver sums up what surrendering means:

“I don’t know who God is exactly.

But I’ll tell you this.

I was sitting in the river named Clarion, on a water splashed stone

and all afternoon I listened to the voices of the river talking.

Whenever the water struck a stone it had something to say, and the water itself, and even the mosses trailing under the water.

And slowly, very slowly, it became clear to me what they were saying. Said the river, I am part of holiness.

And I too, said the stone, And I too, whispered the moss beneath the water.

If God exists he isn’t just churches and mathematics.

He’s the forest, He’s the desert.

He’s the ice caps,that are dying.

He’s the ghetto and the Museum of Fine Arts.

He’s van Gogh and Allen Ginsberg, and Robert Motherwell.

He’s the many desperate hands, cleaning and preparing their weapons.
He’s everyone of us, potentially.

The leaf of grass, the genius, the politician, and the poet.

And if this is true, isn’t it something very important?

Yes, it could be that I am a tiny piece of God, and each of you too, or at least of his intention and hope.

Which is a delight beyond measure.”

Surrender, listen, and behold the Reign of God will come into our lives in the smallest of ways! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 04164


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