July 2021
Reflections of God's Goodness

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,”

Most of us want our country to be blessed by God. We remember the country of our youth where values were mostly shared, where people were polite and kind, where social media and mass communication did not exist to dominate our lives.

As we celebrate the birth of our country this year, some would say, we can barely recognize it. Yet, even in its current state, it is a great place to be. We may have some fears about the future, but God is good and has created the world and our country.  I choose to replace fear with gratitude. 

“By the LORD’s word the heavens were made; by the breath of his mouth all their host. He gathered the waters of the sea as a mound; he sets the deep into storage vaults. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all who dwell in the world show him reverence. For he spoke, and it came to be, commanded, and it stood in place.”

The earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. “I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD, your God, is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

What do we mean when we say, “God, bless America?” When Jesus spoke the well-known words of the Sermon on the Mount, His words to those present and to all of us have a far different meaning than most of us understand. Professor Vincent Ryan Ruggiero among others, studied the meaning of the word “Blessed” and found that Jesus was encouraging the people to ‘wake up’, to act and work for a better society in this life. (Teilhard de Chardin on the Gospels, Louis M. Savary, pg.43)

Jesus was inviting them (and us) to do something in their communities to make a difference, rather than to maintain a passive acceptance of their difficulties.  For instance, a beatitude might sound like this:

Get up, go ahead, and do something. Move, you who are hungry and thirsty for justice, for you shall be satisfied.   (Archbishop Abuna Chacour, scholar of biblical Hebrew, New Testament Greek, and Aramaic.)

As we look toward the celebration of our nation, we might say, get up, go, make our country great, for God will be with you to bring it about!  That is my beatitude for the Fourth of July!

Let us make our celebration a call to action, to truly make America our home, our place of family, safety, and love. A place where we care for our neighbors, work for the oppressed and needy, worship God and give Him His due.

Let us be united in honoring and thanking God for the blessings we have received, are receiving and will receive. God wants to bless His people with peace!

“May the LORD give might to his people; may the LORD bless his people with peace!”

My prayer for all of us is, may peace reign in our hearts and in our country this year!




Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn, SNDdeN

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