BY GRACE SALCEANU | February 20, 2021
Today’s Readings

The prophet Isaiah opens today’s readings with God’s beautiful vision: suffering relieved, light emerging from darkness, and a noble call to be “repairers of the breach.” Who wouldn’t want to participate? But we all know that so much gets in the way. How do we begin?

reorienting toward love

On Thursdays, Faith in Action Bay Area convenes faith leaders across San Francisco as we community-organize towards a city where everyone belongs. As we dream big about how all people can have access to housing, we learn the art of small research meetings with key decision-makers. So much can be learned by asking the question: Who do you love? Power is in the relationship. It is striking to learn of the many interests that claim the attention and funding of people with decision-making capability.

How do we remain steadfast in God’s vision without getting side-tracked by other agendas? Isaiah focuses on relationship: right relationship with those most oppressed and in pain, and real relationship with God. He reminds us to stay near the Lord, who guides and renews us, and asks that we honor the sabbath meaningfully, by not “seeking [our] own interests,” but that of the common good.

Jesus’s encounter with Levi shows us how small inner and outer turnings lead to real change.  Jesus meets Levi exactly where he is, as a tax collector known for benefitting from an unjust system, yet Levi’s immediate response to Jesus reveals a heart open and ready to grow. Levi’s conversion doesn’t take any immediately dramatic or heroic turns: he hosts a banquet where people from all walks of life meet. Together, Jesus and Levi begin by slowly building relationships differently. This meeting is all about what Isaiah describes; it is what Lent is about, too: letting love reorient our lives. Who do you love?  

For Reflection: 

  • In what ways do you feel called to let love reorient your life?
  • How can this reorientation help you to be a part of a movement toward transformation and change that leads to a more just world? 

8 replies
  1. George Marsh
    George Marsh says:

    Who do I love? Everyone human and non-human. Especially those in need, neglected and despised, oppressed and deprived. Refugees, migrants, victims of war, climate disaster, overfishing, clearcutting, pollution, colonization, slavery, segregation, industrial farming and decrepitude. I love with phone calls, visits, prayer, emails to people in power, donations, letters to newspaper editors. Whoever I think of.

    Reply
  2. richard vogt
    richard vogt says:

    Who do I love? As a retired priest I continue to call former parishioners to stay in touch. How work for justice: I stay in touch with elected official on key issues and forward such requests to friends on email and facebook as well as publishing articles on facebook.

    Reply
  3. Carol Mock
    Carol Mock says:

    This Lent I want to become aware of any hidden bias that may get in the way of my efforts to have mutually life-giving relationships with Black Americans.
    First step has been to start reading about the history of the struggle for liberation.
    Can someone please help me begin a good conversation with the only Black person in my neighborhood?

    Reply
    • Kelly Gauthier
      Kelly Gauthier says:

      I know it sounds trite, but I’ve always found that a smile and a warm “hello, my name is …” is a great way to start a conversation. I’ve been lucky over the years to live around people who are from cultures, religions, countries, and backgrounds different than my own. I’ve learned so much and had my eyes opened to things I never saw before by just being friendly and willing to ask questions and truly listen to the answers. I have met a few people along the way who didn’t really want to have a deep conversation (and that’s totally okay), but the vast majority have been more than willing to share, and to ask me questions in return.

      Reply
  4. rosa
    rosa says:

    My love is local. I realize I can’t do much for people suffering around the world, but perhaps small acts of service done lovingly to those around me, to people I encounter daily in ordinary moments are enough to make a difference.

    Reply
  5. matt rousso
    matt rousso says:

    How can I love? During COVID_19 we can’t visit others as we are used to doing. But we can call on the phone. I installed whatsapp and call our mission partners in Esquipulas Guatemala twice a week.

    Reply
  6. eleanor martinez
    eleanor martinez says:

    During this times, I see myself in a different light through being an example for change. I speak more openly by emphasizing kindness n gratitude through my responses in conversing with others; in my posts in my personal social media. Ex. Quoting expressions of such , posting pictures of the beauty around me during my walks n speaking about how the Lord speaks thro His creations etc.

    Reply
  7. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Nice reflection. Thanks. Right relationship with those most oppressed and in pain, and real relationship with God – challenging and empowering.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *