"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Thursday, March 12, 2020

“Heart and Soul”

‘Theological reflection’ is the practice of connecting the dots between what you see and experience in life, and observe in the world around you, and your faith in God.  A magnificent sunset is surely evidence of God’s creative touch, and not just the observer’s relative position to hydrogen atoms and the earth’s rotation (or whatever). A close relationship between a father and son, or mother and daughter, can reflect the unconditional love of God, Father and Mother.  But, on any given day, are we even aware of God’s Presence?  Are we open to the signs?

We are capable of looking around at any moment, wherever we are, and consider how our faith in Jesus Christ is relevant in the object, the situation or the experience. It requires pausing and reflecting on the Presence of God.  It expects seeing the Holy Spirit at work. It’s about becoming aware of people’s needs. It’s about justice, and mercy and, yes, love.

In life not everything is gentle, or lovely or happy. It’s raw and tough, and it’s not fair, and it’s painful and disappointing and depressing.  Technology communicates the world’s atrocities, injustices and suffering in graphic detail: war in multiple locations, the plight of refugees, natural disasters, the Covid 19 outbreak. We might well pray, despairingly “Why have you forgotten me?”  How does one do ‘theological reflection’ in that space?  

Perhaps part of the answer has to do with perspective. Perhaps it begins with stepping back. Taking a deep breath. The realities don’t disappear but they can sometimes be viewed, even acted upon, in a different way, looking at the wide screen. There the hand of God, the presence of God, the call of God, is revealed. 

Prayer: O Lord, help us to see, and witness to, the signs of Your presence and Your power at work, in our lives and in our world. Amen.