Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (11 Aug. ’19)

 Luke 12;32-48

A Sister who worked in a Bolivian hospital spoke to me about her experiences. She told me that one night during her watch, the military arrived with the body of Che Guevara. He had been shot dead by a firing squad.  She prepared the body for burial, but there was one thing she was unable to do – she could not close his eyes. Later, in Latin America the ever-open eyes of Che Guevara became deeply symbolic and challenged many to open their eyes to the dire situation of the majority of the population. Che was alert, he opened his eyes to the plight of the poor and wished to bring about a change in society that would enable the poor to live in a freer and more dignified manner.

In today’s gospel passage we see that  the servants are expected to be awake, alert, on the watch. They must have their lamps lit and be dressed for action. They must behave like servants waiting attentively for their master to return from the wedding feast. What follows in the gospel text is quite startling: The servants cease to be servants. The one who is master gets himself ready to serve, he girds himself and sits the former servants down to table, this is their reward for staying awake and alert. The setting of the meal evokes the Eucharist where Jesus gives of himself, perhaps too there is a hint here of the suffering servant; the meal also evokes the heavenly banquet. We might see this scene as the place where the treasure is to be found, the place of communion. Here everyone is a first born and all are equal.

I have been very taken by an idea that is current today in many circles, the idea of a universal consciousness. Many of those who practice Centering Prayer, Meditation, Contemplation, believe that we are being drawn into this space of awareness and communion. For many years people have opened their eyes and hearts to contact those in other denominations. It is consoling to know that the great spiritual traditions are now coming together and nurturing one another. Interspirituality is flowering. Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Muslim are becoming more conscious of the divine core at the heart of each tradition. I think that having our eyes open and our awareness heightened leads to communion.

If we believe that this is where our universe is going, we can have hope. While we journey on this path we can recognise that we are the vulnerable ‘little flock’ and hear over and over again Jesus’ words ”Do not be afraid”

Sr. Kathleen Egan OP

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