First Reading: Isaiah 9.1-4
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1.10-13 and 17-18
Gospel Reading: Matthew 4.12-23
Even just his beatitudes tell us so much about how to turn these things around. To paraphrase: Live like the poor in spirit, and understand our place in the web of creation. Live like those who are in mourning, and understand what is really important in life, rather than chasing after material things that leave us unsatisfied. Live meekly, and the earth will be able to provide for everyone’s needs. Hunger and thirst for righteousness in every situation, and bring about the common good for all of creation. Be merciful, and receive mercy and compassion. Be peacemakers, and fear not because all of creation is God’s beloved. And even when being laughed at or persecuted otherwise for doing all these good things, know that the kin-dom is already present in our actions.
If God is light, I am a reflector! So it means that I set an example. I avoid buying things I don’t really need. My family gets by with only one vehicle, which can be rather inconvenient, but we make it work. We make an effort to grow our own food as much as possible. We think about our brothers and sisters in the developing world and use our purchasing power to support fair employment practices for them. We work at composting and reducing waste, fixing things instead of sending them to the dump. We turn off lights and appliances when not in use, and turn down the heat to conserve energy for future generations. I could go on and on, but I already have!