LIVING IN PENTECOST TIMES?
Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican
This seems like a bold statement to make at a time when we are
dealing with overwhelming problems at almost every level of society, including
the church. There is rampant violence in homes, communities, nation and world.
There is also an emerging sense of hopelessness among many including young
people. How do we respond?
In the media daily, we hear very little good news. In Pentecost
times, we must ask ourselves "What are we looking for?’ Charles Dickens in "A
Tale of Two Cities," referring to his time said: "It is the worst of times and
the best of times." We are asked to look deep beneath the surface. It depends a
lot on what we are looking for. We look with the eyes of the Spirit and whenever
we see death and destruction, we remind ourselves that for us as a believing
Spirit-led people we need to affirm that these developments need ever have the
last word. We are grateful that this is a time of new insights, new beginning
and new calls for the common good. More people are looking deep within for hope
and meaning in their lives. We see new growth in environmental justice, people
reaching out and empowering the poor and faceless of our time, and Women’s
issues and coming to the fore, ensuring them a voice in both church and society.
People are looking at more just ways of living and relating.
This is a time to clear away the distractions and anxieties and
fears from our minds and hearts and allow the Spirit to transform us, clear up
our vision and restore our energy to bring about God’s design for our world.
Then we can join with others to change the constant turmoil and energize us for
action to bring about needed change. Christopher Fry in "A Sleep of Prisoners"
once said "Thank God our time is now, when wrongs come upl to meet us
everywhere, then we can take the longest stride of soul we ever took. The
enterprise is exploration into God." I believe we are in such a time.
What are we called to do and be?
Be present where ever people are searching and exploring and
support them in their search for hope and meaning. Ordinary people like you
and me, empowered by the Spirit can stand firmly against such negative
trends and thinking.
Look at the idols we have created over the centuries -
wealth, power, sex, domination and war and more. Bring forth the power of
the Spirit to address them and replace them with other values. Bring Spirit
power into our board rooms and class rooms, into halls of government and
church gatherings, and challenge the destructive myths of our day. Work
together for the common good according to God’s design.
Learn to collaborate and cooperate with people of other
cultures and discover God We no longer bring God to the pagans as we thought
we were doing in the past. We discover God in their midst and learn from
them. Together we can be messengers of hope in these dark times.
Teach children values that reflect these beliefs. Lead them
by the example of our lives.
Empower people to discover their own power and ability to
create communities of peace, compassion and love.
We all need to relearn some things from the inside out, how to
educate our children, how to debate issues in a civilized manner and to reclaim
the power we have to change directions in life. Look within ourselves and see if
there are traces of greed, violence and prejudice and allow the brokenness to be
healed. We are the Body of Christ called to be ministers of the Gospel and
messengers of peace.
Anthony Padavano reminds us that the Spirit never intended our
faith to be a tranquilizer. Let us hasten into the future with courage,
conviction and hope, knowing that God never lets us walk alone.