Do the Work
Alicia Reese
June 6, 2023

I very much appreciate this quote from the Talmud.
Often the grief of the world is enormously daunting, not to mention, heart breaking. But this helps to keep the distractions at bay, it grounds me in my faith and my call as a disciple, as a Christian, to the work of justice, work that moves all of us toward liberation. Every decision I make is an opportunity to do this work, to move in the direction of dismantling injustice. When I get frustrated, these words serve as a reminder of the importance of focusing on the now, especially when the world’s grief is overwhelming. Right now, how can act justly, where can I spread a little love, where can I be merciful and gracious, how can I be a humble partner in this work?

Staying in the ‘now’ keeps us connected to the work while giving a reprieve from the long view that can so often feel just as daunting as the world’s grief. But we are not free to abandon the work, even though the work may not be finished in our lifetime, and even though we may never see and experience all the fruits of our labors, this is the work we are called to, as Christians, as disciples, as members of the human family.

So, I leave you with this blessing, one of my favorites…

A Franciscan Benediction
May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done,
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

God in your mercy, hear our prayers.