Finding the Way Back
BY ED NUÑEZ | November 4, 2019
The world is chaotic. We all can see it. Not only do we find injustice and hatred, but discerning the way to respond as people of faith can be stressful and overwhelming. Sometimes, I feel that I am lost and do not really know how to navigate this crazy, mixed-up world we live in right now. I see this happening as I study graduate-level theology classes while I simultaneously supervise students on their faith-justice journey at Creighton University. The context of higher education and young people is always changing, and frankly, I have felt lost and unsure of what the future may hold for not only me but the people around me.
Nevertheless, Sunday’s readings provide some solace and hope, specifically Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians and the Gospel story from Luke. I am reassured when Paul tells the Thessalonians that they are always being prayed for, in hope that “God may make you worthy of his calling.” As someone who values community and connections, it is reassuring that there are people around us praying and thinking of us on our journey for justice – it is comforting. The Gospel story from Luke about Jesus wanting to stay at Zacchaeus’ home is also reassuring because Jesus said that he comes to “seek and to save what was lost.” He desires to bring Zacchaeus “back” to peace, hope, and justice.
As people of faith who are also passionate about bringing change to our world in need and in chaos, let us be reassured that there are people around us who can support and empower.
When we feel lost in the busyness and stress of this world, let us remember not only the peace and hope of Jesus but the peace and hope that the communities around us can give – and which will bring us back.
Ed Nuñez graduated from Creighton University in 2018 with a BA in justice and society and theology. At Creighton, he was involved with residential life, campus ministry, and service and justice programs. After graduation, Ed did a year of service with Amate House, working as a campus minister and support specialist at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Currently, Ed is back at Creighton as a graduate assistant in the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice and pursuing his MA in ministry.
As the director of a religious education program, I know there is more to living our faith than just knowing Bible stories or rules. Each week we assemble I try to give all the kids a story (grades 1-8) to help them live their faith. The needs of this world are so overwhelming they can paralyze us to do nothing so I told them the legend of the Quetzal bird of Guatemala. The essence of the story is this: “The whole world was on fire and everyone was running away, but a little Quetzal kept flying to the river and putting a drop of water on flames. When asked why she would do this futile action she said, ‘I do what I can with what I have.’ Her courage and commitment inspired everyone else to pitch in and the world was saved.” I told the kids–yes, you are small too, but decide how you can make a difference in bringing more love into the world.
Thank you, Ed, for sharing such a hopeful reminder that we each can make a difference.
“Just when the caterpillar thought it was dying, it became a butterfly”!
?????? Hope springs eternal.
Thank you, Judy, and I am happy that some of my words rang true for you. We are Resurrection people, so hope is what gets us through and motivates us to work for justice.
Nice. Thanks. Indeed, prayer can move mountains.