12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Glenna Smith, OSB, Benedictine Sisters of Virgina, Bristow, VA
The demands of love can be daunting, even frightening, “What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” Jesus’ commands and promises can strengthen us in the midst of our fear; regardless, proclaiming Jesus’ message certainly requires faith, hope, love, and committed, grace-given courage, particularly in the face of fear. “Love one another” sounds well and good, but “love one another as I have loved you,” can have crucifixion overtones – albeit, on the way to resurrection, for sure.
I must admit, the way of the cross scares me. It always has. I am drawn to the glorious, joyful, mysterious, resurrected, love present in Christ, but the suffering, cruel, mysterious, crucifixion realities are frightening. Is it grace and faith that allows us, keeps us to the path to resurrection? Is it human fear and doubt that has the capacity to keep us fixated on the suffering and death of Jesus’ crucifixion? For us Christians, there is only one way. Jesus is our way.
Am I prepared to lay down my life? Are we committed enough to suffer for the Word? Do you and I believe enough in the promises of Christ to proclaim this unbounded love – to suffer and to rise with him?
May God give you and me the courage and grace to proclaim Jesus’ message, even unto death, knowing with hope that there really is only one way. Our church and our world depend on us to take up the daunting demands of Love, to “be not afraid.”
Sister Glenna Smith entered the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia in 1977 and has served her community and their ministries for 40+ years as teacher, prefect, camp director, counselor, principal and administrator, school psychologist, member of various boards, formation director, monastery coordinator, and subprioress. She was privileged to serve the Federation of Saint Scholastica as president from 2010-2014.