As we enter autumn, we witness the cycle of creation winding down to the renewing growth of spring and summer. The cold and darkness of fall and winter affects our minds and even our spirits. We slow down in many of our daily activities, and even our spirits can become dulled and even saddened.

Our daily prayer and reflection on the message of Jesus can boost those drooping spirits if we make the choice to continue to hear the Word of God.

Everything Jesus said and did, in one way or another, is an anticipation of his Resurrection. He certainly hated sin that brings about our spiritual death. How has living with COVID affected our relationships with God and others? Have the limitations for more than a year and a half of our lives shriveled those relationships or changed them into something a more fruitful, though limited experience.

Jesus’ response to physical illness always brought a compassionate response. Recall and pray about the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, the blind man by the pool, the woman with a hemorrhage and the 10 lepers. How did His intervention change their lives? How has Jesus’ healing change our lives?

Corruption of any kind incensed Jesus in whatever form he found it. Maybe that’s why he called the Scribes and the Pharisees, “children of hell” (Matt. 23:15). The Sadducees who worked to earn the favoritism of Rome and reaped the benefits, the Pharisees who wanted separation from Rome and a religious state, and all the Zealots who wanted to overthrow Rome with a well-regulated militia - these manners of relationships are still around us daily even after thousands of years. We are all still weak, imperfect and sinful women and men. This is our reality.

Perhaps rather than dwell on the drab, dark days of fall and winter, we could look are those moments of frustration and concern in the new light of a new day. Because the reign of God is characterized by justice and good news for the poor, we can make sone kind of improvement in the circle of our life. Because the reign of God is a place where people boldly hold their leaders to account, we can speak up in our own way for what is right and good for downtrodden. And because the sick are always among us, we can do our part to relieve their particular suffering and take good care of ourselves and others.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.

Psalm 143:8

Sister Donna Mikula