28th Sunday A        –         We Are, Therefore I Am

A wedding is more than a personal matter between two people. There are dimensions to it that go beyond the couple. When two people commit themselves to each other in marriage, they show something of the original unity of the human race, the unity we are all called to build up. On October 3rd, Pope Francis issued a new encyclical letter to the world on human and cosmic solidarity. Its opening words, “Fratelli tutti” (Brothers all of us) are taken from a letter of St Francis of Assisi calling his fellow Franciscans to care for everyone and everything on the planet. In this new encyclical, the Pope calls all humanity to recognise our interdependence and duty of care for each other.

Jesus sometimes used the image of a wedding in his parables to show that humanity was created and called by God to life in abundance – John 2, 1-11.  This Sunday’s gospel has one such parable. On this theme, I offer you for prayer and reflection an extract from a recent homily given by Franciscan minister general, Fr Michael Perry. (1)

“Brothers and sisters, the call to repentance, conversion, to open our minds, hearts, and lives to a new way of living together on this planet is more urgent now than in any other moment in human history. Conversion requires that we hear ‘both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor’ – cf. Pope Francis LAUDATO SI, par 49.. (2) But is this not also what Francis of Assisi intended when he portrayed that all people, and I would add, all of the created universe, might be admitted to paradise, might come to an experience of what St Matthew calls the ‘Beatific Way of Life,’ (Matt 5, 1-11)  defined by living in just and right relationship with one another and with all of creation?

“In his ‘Canticle of Creatures’ St Francis celebrates God’s loving presence in all creation. He looks to nature for guidance on how we are to model our relationships with God, one another, and with the natural world…. He invites us to open our lives to an understanding of our authentic identity as members of a ‘cosmic fraternity’ wherein all creatures share the same dignity and vocation given by God from the moment of creation. This one fraternity, this common home, has been created by God and given the vocation to love, serve and honour the Creator by loving, serving and honouring one another. We humans and the creaturely world have as our vocation the duty to support and complete one another, not to compete against and destroy one another. We are co-responsible with and for one another, especially the poor and excluded….

“No matter how far we stray in our lives, and no matter how far our human communities have strayed from the practice of love, care, justice, and mercy to each and every human being, and to the natural world, our common home, God will always be merciful, will always welcome us back. In God’s wedding feast all are welcome, all are forgiven, and all are loved.”

Scripture scholar Fr Kieran O’Mahony observes that in this parable the main story seems to contradict the final paragraph, and notes that the same parable is found in Luke 14, but this time without the appendix and leaving us with the image of the kingdom of God open to all comers –  HEARERS OF THE WORD, 28th Sunday A.

Fr. QQ – 10/07/2020

(1)  Homily for the Feast of the Pardon of Assisi, August 2, 2020
(2) Encyclical Letter on Care for our Common Home, May 16, 2015

Copyright © carmelitesisters.ie 2020. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Design Credits