Gospel: Genesis 12:1-4a; 2 Timothy 1:8b-10; Matthew 17:1-9
“Lord, it is good for us to be here.”
Have you ever had a feeling that you were where you were meant to be, doing exactly what you were meant to be doing? If so, think of how this made you feel. Perhaps you felt at peace, or perhaps a sense of confidence. I think St. Peter may have felt the same way that you did when he spoke the words, “Lord, it is good for us to be here,” as he witnessed the Transfiguration all those years ago.
Today’s first two readings reveal that God calls each of us in a unique way, and so we all have the potential to have these “Lord, it is good for us to be here” moments. God guides us towards them by blessing each of us with a unique set of talents, relationships, and opportunities. Understanding how to use these to answer God’s call for us requires reflection – opening our hearts and gearing our senses towards where God is calling us to go.
All too often, however, we meet obstacles on the road to fulfilling God’s plan for us. War could rip the rug out from under your feet. Climate change and the over-extraction of resources could leave you homeless or in such a state of poverty that the best you can do each day is to simply survive, never mind developing to your full spiritual and social potential. Norms and laws disfavour people based on gender, religion and culture, which could hold you back from contributing your talents to your community.
On this International Women’s Day, we celebrate the incredible women all over the world who have answered God’s call to bring about His Kingdom here on Earth, often bravely overcoming obstacles of discrimination to do so.
For example, today I celebrate Yesica Patiachi Tayori, the woman whose photo graces our campaign poster this year. She is an Indigenous community leader of the Harakbut people in Peru. Together with Development and Peace’s partner, CAAAP, she is leading her people’s effort to protect themselves and the Peruvian Amazon rainforest where they live.
It is good for her to be there.
The Harakbut people appointed Yesica to tell Pope Francis their story when he visited Puerto Maldonado, Peru, in January 2018. She was then invited to the Vatican to contribute her knowledge and experience to the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region in October 2019. And it was good for her to be there, too.
I am inspired by Yesica, because she has answered God’s call to everyone—to love Him and to love our neighbour—in her own unique way, by raising the voices of her people and, in doing so, bravely amplifying the cry of the poor and of the Earth.
Let’s ensure that everyone has a chance to answer God’s call to them. And on this International Women’s Day, let us be especially mindful that women must have equal opportunities as men to use their unique gifts to build the Kingdom. And let us also remember that God has a plan for all our sisters and brothers, however distant and different they may seem to us and however far their views may be from our own.
At the end of the day, let’s always remember that it is good for ALL of us to be here.
We are offering six weekly reflections that connect the proposed Gospel readings for the Sunday liturgy with our campaign theme. They will be published every Monday on our website or are accessible in the Resources section. This Lent, give from the heart For our Common Home!
Get your pencils ready!
For families with young children, we invite you to discover the weekly Gospel reflections of the 2020 Family Bulletin. Each reflection is accompanied by an illustration. Click on the image to download the illustration and reflection for this Sunday.