Archive for the ‘Trinity’ Category

Finding God in Ukraine 6-12-2022

Thursday, June 9th, 2022

Amid the destruction and death in the Ukraine, it’s hard to imagine
anything remotely revealing the presence of God. But if you look with
the eye of the heart and listen with the ear of the spirit, you’ll see and
hear God at work even in the horror taking place in Ukraine. Some
signs of God’s presence:
Vladyslav operates a bakery in Kyiv. He employs adults with
psychological disabilities. His shop specializes in cakes and pastries, as
well as serving lunch. On the day before Russian troops stormed their
country, Vladyslav gathered his staff together. They would stop selling
baked goods to individual customers; instead, they would bake bread for
all. They produce 300 loaves a day, bread that they give away to homes
for the disabled and volunteer organizations. “I am not militant in my
nature,” Vladyslav says simply, “but I can bake bread.” The love of God
is in every loaf that Vladyslav bakes.
In Krakow, Poland – just across the Ukrainian border – a community
of 40 Dominican sisters have opened their convent to refugees: children,
women, the elderly – even their dogs. Things are getting a little
cramped, but the sisters tell the refugees they are welcome to stay as
long as they need to. In Poland and Ukraine, more than 1,000 religious
communities of women are providing housing, food, clothing, and
emotional support to thousands of Ukrainians who have been displaced
by the war. These sisters, like so many of their Polish neighbors, reveal
in their kindness and compassion the Gospel Jesus.
This is Hanna’s first year as a teacher. The 23-year-old never
imagined teaching her class of fifth graders in the middle of a war – but,
despite the bombings and airstrikes, millions of children in Ukraine are
still going to school. Hanna is one of hundreds of dedicated and creative
teachers who are managing to keep their students engaged in learning.
Some students can’t attend every day because they’re constantly on the
move from shelter to shelter. Many of Hanna’s students are signing in
on their parents’ phones. Hanna says that the routine of school and
seeing their friends online is helping. “Even if I’m not teaching the full
curriculum,” Hanna says, “It’s good that they’re talking to me and to
each other…. It reminds us of something normal.” The sacrifice and
courage of many good people trying to make things “normal” for their
fellow Ukrainians – “normal” is the Spirit of God alive in their care of
one another.
On this Trinity Sunday, we celebrate the God who reveals himself not
only in the wonders of nature and the miracles of science, but in every
experience of love and expression of compassion. God’s Spirit opens
our eyes to see all women and men as daughters and sons of God the
Father of all; the Spirit opens our hearts to embrace one another as
sisters and brothers in God’s Christ. May our own hearts and minds be
opened to the Spirit of God revealing such love and hope in our own
lives, however small and ordinary and unassuming; may the Spirit instill
in us the wisdom to realize the goodness in all things that can enable us
to transform our lives and world in God’s life and love.