Choose Every Day

Choose Every Day

Joshua 24:1-3, 14-25; Luke 13:31-35

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often have I wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. . .Luke 13:34

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       As a youth I had on my wall a plaque which quoted Joshua 24:15: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

    Through the years the meaning has evolved from a literal  interpretation to one of a summons  keeping the commandment of  “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind, thy strength, soul, and thy neighbor as thyself.”

    And the evolution of this message has found itself centered on letting my feminne side dominate, letting go of being in charge and being macho.

    Luke’s image of Jesus as a mother hen is one I most cherish. Looking at the statues of  Our Lady of Guadalupe and Mary Untier of Knots on my desk is a reminder the “mothers’ (both male and female) I have known through the years are the ones who have nourished and sustained me, leading me  to embrace my own sense of motherhood.

    Embracing my own way of caring as “a mother hen” means  treating each person as a precious child, experiencing their pain and heartbreak–letting them into my heart, suffeirng with each one.

    Two examples  of being a “mother hen” are described by Charles Peguy and Pope Francis.

    Peguy in this  provcative quote excemplifies our being “mother hens’ on our journey relating to faith and politics:

“Usually, however, we get it backward. Our temptation is to begin with politics and then try to figure out how religion can fit in. We start with the accepted parameters of political debate and, whether we find ourselves on the left or the right, we use religion to justify and bolster our existing commitments. . . .

But what if we make the inward journey our starting point? What if we recognize that our engagement in politics should be rooted in our participation in the Trinitarian flow of God’s love? Then everything changes. We are no longer guided or constrained by what we think is politically possible, but are compelled by what we know is most real. At the heart of all creation, the mutual love within the Trinity overflows to embrace all of life. We are invited to participate in the transforming power of this love. There we discover the ground of our being, centering all our life and action.

This was revealed most fully in Jesus, as God’s Son. His love for enemies, his non-violent response to evil, his embrace of the marginalized, his condemnation of self-serving religious hypocrites, his compassion for the poor, his disregard for boundaries of social exclusion, his advocacy for the economically oppressed, and his certainty that God’s reign was breaking into the world all flowed from his complete, mutual participation in the Father’s love. Jesus didn’t merely show the way; he lived completely in the presence and power of God’s redeeming, transforming life.”

And Pople Francis gives us the answer to how to be happy:

“Rivers do not drink their own waters; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself and flowers do not not spread their fragrance for themselves. Livning for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how differcult it is. .Life is good when you are happy; but much better when others are happy because of you.”

    And Jesus is their with us, loving arms outstretched, awaiting us all. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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