As believers, it is comforting to know that we can always take our concerns to God and cast our cares upon Him. However, the tone and tenor of our approach is just as important as the act itself. In today’s readings, God emphasizes what needs to be done in order to please Him and gain His favor. In particular, He instructs us to care for each other and, more importantly, the oppressed and marginalized. Only then can we be in right relationship with God and receive the healing, protection, and blessings that He has promised.
Living for ourselves can be both fun and satisfying. Living for God means doing His work for the betterment of others, in particular, those most in need—the impoverished, the imprisoned, the hungry, those experiencing homelessness, and others. This, then, requires us to develop and maintain an awareness of those in need, as well as the systems in our society that have failed them and are, therefore, broken. Developing this sense of awareness can often be uncomfortable, particularly for those who have never experienced these conditions. However, it is when we are uncomfortable that we experience the most growth.
Ask yourself the question: In living for God, who am I best suited to serve?
Your answer to this question may guide you to do work that truly pleases God and leads you to a greater level of fulfillment. It may also be the first step toward rebuilding that which has been broken.
Dr. Nathan J. Sessoms is the Principal & CEO of Success Beyond Measure, Incorporated, a Diversity & Educational Equity consulting firm that provides support to community-based and non-profit organizations, for-profit entities, and academic institutions interested in combatting systemic racism and creating equitable outcomes for all.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he has conducted research on race relations at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, contributed to several National Science Foundation-funded reports, and published in several peer-reviewed journals, including Urban Geography, The Professional Geographer, and Kalfou.
Dr. Sessoms is the former director of the Office of Black Student Services at Loyola Marymount University, where he also worked closely with the University’s Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Jewish, Muslim, and LGBTQIA Communities, while assisting the campus community in navigating the realities of race and racism. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor in LMU’s Department of Sociology.