The Psalm response for this Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time states: "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own". We live in a world fraught with fear and mistrust. We are bombarded these days on the political level with politicians and parties that affirm that we have much to fear - from each other and from the unknown. The blame is always placed upon the other, and the name calling and negativity borders on the uncivil, not to mention the unchristian. Whether we believe that the world is on the verge of collapse or that things could not be better, we are told that one candidate or the other can remedy the situation. I mentioned last Sunday that the Scriptures remind us that when we acknowledge the goodness and love of God, his presence and power in our lives (a theme echoed this Sunday), we are able to work together and conquer all that confronts us, not out of fear or indignation, not with an attitude that centers upon the "I", but with a respect for God and of each other that allows us to work for the common good, to be that faithful and prudent steward whom the master will call to service. But key to this happening is to acknowledge and place ourselves within the loving hands of our loving God.
Recently,on his trip to Poland for World Youth Day, Pope Francis visited the death camps. His visit was quiet and reflective. He prayed in the death cell of Maximilian Kolbe, and was moved by the brutal moment in our recent history that allowed politicians and regular people alike to allow or overlook what was happening, because God had been placed on the perifery of life or relegated to Sunday morning. Some were directly responsible, but countless others were quietly unaware of this barbaric attitude that pervaded the human heart. Many should have sought out the truth, and all of us should have learned a critical lesson which would have lessened our present fears and isolationism. But we are slow learners. We easily speak of the desire for peace, but we too often fail to trust in the Prince of Peace to strengthen and guide our efforts.
So today, remember what the psalmist said: "Blessed are the people the Lord has chosen to be his own". Count your blessings ... share your blessing ... be a blessing.