Reflection by Sister Marita
It was many years ago, but I remember it well. While visiting my mom, I was doing various household chores. Precariously perched on a ladder, taking down curtains that needed to be washed, I heard an excited small voice saying “oh Auntie, come and see.” I must have hesitated because next came, “you won’t be sorry!” Descending the ladder, I followed my four-year-old grandnephew into the next room to be awe struck as he was by the beauty of the sun shining through glass, washing the room in colors of a rainbow .
How often during the day does a small voice within us beckon us to stop our busyness to “come and see” the manifold places in creation where beauty is shining forth, where God indeed dwells. The theologian Elizabeth Johnson references a passage in St. Augustine’s Confessions where he likens a large sponge floating in the sea, saturated with ocean water, to creation which itself is finite, while being full of God. She writes, “like a saturated sponge creation is dripping wet with divine presence.”
Pope Francis in his encyclical, “Laudato Si”, elucidates the interconnectedness of all creation, linking the cry of the earth to the cry of the poor. Today is World Mission Sunday, a time to reflect on how we might better care for our common home and our sisters and brothers far and near. Like the publican in today’s gospel, let us acknowledge our failings and need for forgiveness. Let us ask for a change of heart and a wider vision to embrace the common good. As we commit ourselves to do what we can to bring about healing and harmony, “you won’t be sorry!” echoes within.
In closing, I offer this prayer from “Laudato Si”:
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.