Sr. Meg Gallagher, MM, reflects on the call to bear Christ's light to the world.
All nations, indeed, shall bow down in adoration, waters will rise in tribute, flowers will bloom throughout lands, sun and moon will embrace in the presence of the Holy One. And a truth previously unknown will be acclaimed: that all peoples of whatever race, creed or tradition will be welcomed into the one family of God.
The reality of the darkness in our world is evidenced by wars, violence, hatred among peoples and nations. We witness men, women, and children seeking refuge at our borders, only to be sent away. We view global disasters such as fires and floods and witness people acting with indifference toward our sacred earth. Poverty continues to an alarming degree, limiting many people, near and far, from realizing their personal fulfillment as persons of worth and dignity.
Several wise figures have spoken about our call to be a light for those who live in darkness. The Dalai Lama has said, “May I Become at all times, a protector for those without protection a guide for those who have lost their way. A sanctuary for those in danger. A lamp for those without light. A place of refuge for those who seek shelter, and a servant to all in need.”
Lao-Tse said, “If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations; If there is to be peace there must be peace among neighbors and in our hearts.”
I remember fondly one of my first mission assignments, which was in Hong Kong, where thousands of mainland Chinese fled into this small island, seeking shelter from a regime they feared. In view of the immediate needs of thousands of families fleeing for safety, Maryknoll Sisters, together with other groups, began a mission there. The basics of food, clothing and safe shelter were given first. Some families, witnessing the peace surrounding the area, soon learned it was coming from a Catholic population of neighbors near them. This resulted in thousands of the refugees asking for instructions on how to enter the church. It was my privilege to instruct women and children for baptism. Our lessons always stressed the truth and gift of God’s indwelling in our hearts, and, in and with the God within us, our call to reach out and assist others in need as we are able.
A few years later, I was a missioner in Thailand, setting up a safe shelter for women and children who had been trafficked or prostituted. Through several months of being with us, gaining new resolve, learning new skills, the women and children often felt ready to go forth as healed persons and to make positive contributions to their society.
Through our baptism, we are gifted, in and with Christ, to continue his mission of light, goodness, kindness and truth to all we encounter. In and with Christ, we walk together, seeding our cities, our homes, our world, with peace, justice and truth.
I AM A HOLE IN THE FLUTE THROUGH WHICH CHRIST BREATHES.
LISTEN TO THE MUSIC. - Hafiz.
Photo provided by Sr. Meg Gallagher