11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

In today’s readings we hear about growth, about God tending to the flock, affording growth and fruitfulness.  The growth in turn affords us beauty and strength and gives shelter to others, making the world a better environment for all, to the glory of God.

It takes courage and a great deal of faith in order to build and to create.  Whether we are referring to a garden, a house, a family, or a church community, creating takes guts and lots of work.  I have had the privilege of watching people work to create against very difficult odds.  People who had physical limitations or pain working to create beauty in art and in buildings and other crafts.  The drive and desire to create is in our nature and some are able to defy incredible odds to do so.

It is a very different story in the case of destroying things.  On Monday I visited the memorial at the World Trade Center.  This place holds stories of incredible evil and hatred.  The Twin Towers were a target for people who were filled with hate for our nation.  They plotted and schemed and committed one of the most horrible crimes of our time.  But the ground in lower Manhattan remains, it has grown and they have rebuilt and the names and stories of those who were lost are lifted up in love and remembrance.

There is a quote that comes to mind and it is from Tertullian; “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”  In this statement the truth is born our that even when someone tries to destroy something or especially someone, the beauty of the one created is victorious over the one who attempts to destroy.  We remember our heroes, we remember those taken too soon, we remember and love them and create special days and ceremonies in their honor.

So creating, imagining, sustaining, and nurturing are the things of our creator and they allow us, in a way to be co-creators.  We are not hear to destroy, not art, not people, not the environment, not families.  We are not made to tear asunder.  We are all created in the image of God, we are called by Jesus the Christ to follow the new commandment, to love one another.  It is my most fervent desire to live in this way, I work on this every day and every day I am reminded that tomorrow I can do better, that today I haven’t loved quite enough.

With that said, in honor and memory of all those who have gone before and created before, I must find the courage to share these words.  The words of Nobel Laureate, Eli Wiesel;

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

We must continue to strive to be co-creators, to build and to create, gardens, communities, structures, families, churches.  We are called to love one another and grow in our humanity and goodness.  We are called to the unity that is illustrated in the love of the Trinity.  We are called to be God’s manifestation of goodness to each other.  We are called to love and create, not to hate and destroy. Sometimes that can be hard, controversial, and it can make us feel uneasy.  That is when history and the leadership of those who have gone before can be helpful.  Those like Eli Wiesel who have spoken courageously due to their own experience can guide us to speak when it would be easier to lay low.

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”