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Weekly Reflection

May 21, 2015

“Without God, we cannot. Without us, God will not.”

Without God, we cannot. Without us, God will not.

The words above are said to have been said by Saint Augustine of Hippo.

Imagine a young, teenage girl named Mary, in a little known village in 1st century Palestine, saying “Yes” to a vision from God.

Imagine a gathering of men and women, friends and followers of one Jesus of Nazareth, being breathed into by the Spirit of the Living God and set afire, aflame, to spread the Good News that death and suffering do not have the final word! Our Lord lives! Our Lord rules! In you. In me. In us.

Imagine your own self - a one-of-a-kind collection of molecules of earth, water, air and fiery heat  - living another day, another minute, another second on this planet earth, with the gift of being alive, being conscious, here and now.

“Without God, you cannot. Without you, God will not.”

What is it, exactly, that God will not do, without YOU?

The answer to this question, of course, depends on who YOU are!

Perhaps you are a senior in school, on the brink of “graduation” or “commencement” (whichever word resonates better with you). What have you learned about yourself, these past few years, in school? And in the school of life? What sets YOU on fire? What God-given gifts, and limitations, have YOU awoken to? If you could paint a picture of your life — of what you most desire it to be about — what would this picture contain? What might it look like?

What is it, exactly, that God will not do, without YOU?

Perhaps you are a longtime — or short-time — citizen of our city of Baltimore, on the brink of forgetting the broken glass and shouts and screams and sirens and news images of days and weeks ago. Perhaps the newly ignited or rekindled fire and yearning for social justice within our own city that burned within you — a heightened awareness of the hopelessness and poverty and feeling-of-powerlessness that our fellow Baltimoreans in another neighborhood, in another zip code, feel and have felt for too-long-soooooo-long-a-time-years-and-decades-and-beyond-memory-ago — perhaps this fire and this consciousness have begun to drift and melt away into summer-visions-by-the-beach-pool-water-coolness-of-it-all …

What is it, exactly, that God will not do, without YOU?

Perhaps you are someone who knows someone else, today, this very minute, who is suffering in body-mind-spirit, whose heart is broken, who is tired, so tired, too tired. Whose burden feels too heavy to carry. A friend whose beloved has died. A neighbor who has been without work longer than he hoped. A colleague who is struggling.

Another saint — Saint Teresa of Avila — is said to have said the words below:

“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

What is it, exactly, that God will not do, without YOU?