Saturday of the First Week of Advent
"A voice shall sound in your ears, 'This is the way, walk in it.'" (Is 30:21)
Wouldn’t that be handy? A voice to tell us the right thing to do…
In an interview with Krista Tippett, Mirabai Bush (creator of Google’s Search Inside Yourself employee meditation program) recalls her youthful admiration of St. Joan of Arc for that very gift – hearing God’s voice as a guide through the complexities of life. As an adult, Bush views contemplative practices as tools for listening to one’s inner knowing, and, thus, co-founded the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.
Of course, when it comes to discerning the voice of truth, we also have the benefit of Scripture. Today’s Gospel contains some fairly explicit, though not at all specific, instructions: “Freely you have received, freely you must give.” (Mt 10:8)
Some time ago, I began to interpret this verse not only as a call to generous stewardship over our time, talent and treasure, but as an answer to that burning question: “Why should I have been born into so much opportunity while others seem to have so much less?”
This verse (Mt 10:8) is also the student-chosen motto of a tuition-free Catholic boarding school in Haiti where I used to work. The students chose the motto for the same reason – in Haiti, to complete secondary education puts a person in the top 3% of the population. It compels the question, “Why me?”
While the problem of inequality persists, there are some relevant insights:
- Many of the things I once perceived as “opportunity” are nothing but sand
- Nothing in my possession, tangible or otherwise, is for my use alone
- When we bring our gifts to the table in order to work towards a more just world, we proclaim, “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” (Mt 10:7)
As we navigate many distractions and uncertainties during this Advent season, may we find time to listen for the Voice showing us the way, and the courage to follow it.
Kaitlyn Guzik, MBA candidate, Opus College of Business; Program Development Intern, Tommies Together Volunteer Center