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September 9, 2021

Daily Reflection for Thursday, September 9, 2021

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:

Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, Priest | USCCB

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Colossians 3:12-17
Responsorial: Psalm 150:1b-6
Gospel: Luke 6:27-38

Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”    Luke 6:37-38

Today it is easy to become demoralized over the state of the world. The degree of distress and the volume of suffering reported and unreported by the media can be overwhelming. Regrettably, this is nothing new. It is a cycle set on “repeat” when compared to previous decades/centuries.

Close inspection of the root causes of much human suffering point right back at us humans, of course.  These are connected, in part, to climate events, political control at all costs, economic hardship near and far, national lighting rod issues of sexuality and abortion, nearby international issues like immigration, and distant international events like war, famine, displacement, and the cupidity of oppressive, power-hungry regimes. No one seeks to suffer and most don’t seek to make others suffer, yet our actions and choices regarding these important issues can easily contribute to our own and others’ suffering.

As a Jesuit, Peter Claver spent 4 decades ministering to African slaves shipped to Central and South America as laborers for land cultivation and gold mine work.  The forces of avarice were too strong for social conscience let alone the efforts of the Pope and the Church.  Under slave trade conditions that are almost unfathomable, Peter Claver and his fellow missionaries, while unable to suppress slavery itself, were tireless crusaders for the alleviation of the suffering it provoked.  He is known for this reason as the patron saint of slaves for his ministry and tireless charity. 

The idea that God doesn’t do coincidences echoed in my mind as I’ve struggled with current events.  I found today’s readings and learning about Saint Peter Claver timely.  The readings offer a simple way of lessening the distress and suffering of contemporary life. Simplicity does not always mean easy and does not always result in a successful outcome. But following Luke’s instructions to stop judging, stop condemningforgive will help us in any personal interaction and undoubtedly would alleviate so much human distress.

In what ways do you aspire to alleviate the suffering that you both witness and experience in your life?

Rafael Rosario

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