Lent, Nonviolence

Lent 2017: Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 26 – The light we need

by Cathy Woodson
National Council Chair, Pax Christi USA

1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a | Ephesians 5:8-14 | John 9:1-41

My best moments of reckoning come when I allow myself to let the spirit speak to me. Recently, I was called to proclaim a reading at liturgy and the words “… though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen, do not incur sin because of them …” seeped through my soul. The current social and political environments continue to call me to reflect and examine how I direct myself to model the light of Christ, how I respond to the gospel and how I stand in solidarity and unity for what is right and just.

Our response to building a nonviolent community challenges our imperfections. I believe we must be intentional in acknowledging, naming and sharing our personal internal challenges that bring about our awareness and our failures. How we approach our vocation as peacemakers with our sisters and brothers throughout the world may become the light we need to examine as we journey with our sisters and brothers, especially when our perspectives differ as well as our method of living out our baptismal call to care for one another and love one another as we love ourselves. I try to remember that my best chance to understand others is to learn from their experiences as well as my own experiences. I try to stay true to my personal vow of 40-plus years ago, to love the Lord, to do what is right and just, and walk humbly. I don’t have all the answers and my answer may not be the way of others. This is my challenge every day. Sometimes the immediate response is not always the right approach to addressing injustices. But focusing on justice with peace and peace with justice keeps me grounded in our proclamation to witnessing the gospel.

Striving to live in the light of Christ and being the light of Christ for others is our journey. This journey is not always easy but it is our path. Thanks be to God for God’s love and patience with all of us.

Cathy Woodson is the chair of the Pax Christi USA National Council.

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