Monday, December 8, 2014

Embrace the World

by Laurie Parker

As I reflect on Pope Francis’ call to “Wake Up the World” I am reminded of a description of Jesus given by Fr. Anthony Gittins as a presence that disturbs.  As a man who ate with sinners, touched the unclean, spoke with the outcast, and invited everyone to the table, I believe it was Jesus’ actions even more than his words that so disturbed others.  The love of Christ is such that all are welcome: Gentile or Jew, slave or free, woman or man…  This love is disturbing, because it is a love that does not allow for ego, primacy of place, or exploitation.  

Being in community I have felt myself slowly, and with some pain, opening to this radical love, as through word and example I see other sisters fearlessly expanding their boundaries and extending the invitation to all to live with dignity.  It is the continual quest to live simply, which as one sister so eloquently stated, means being the same with everyone in every situation.  This may mean the poor and the marginalized, but it may also mean the rich and the affluent, and sometimes, most difficult of all, those in our own neighborhoods or our own homes with whom we don’t see eye to eye.  

As followers of Christ I believe we too are called to disturb others, not so much with challenging words, but through our radical love and inclusivity, because it is only when we embrace the world that we empower it to awaken.

Name: Laurie Parker
Congregation: Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth
Stage in formation: Novice
Hometown: Topeka, KS
Current Ministry: Music therapist

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