Reflection by S. Marianne Ferguson

Luke tells us that after Jesus healed the Leper, he went off to deserted places to pray. We wonder if Jesus’ conversation with his Father is like any conversation between parents and their adult children today. It seems from our reading that Jesus followed his father’s request to take care of his people, especially the most vulnerable.

I have a friend, George, who also followed God’s request to care for his people, especially the most vulnerable. George and his family lived in an upscale Buffalo, New York neighborhood serviced by a large neighborhood bank. This bank touted its policy of redlining; i.e., not lending mortgage money to people considered a financial risk —  single mothers, for example, or gay people, mixed races, welfare families etc. George objected to this policy and threatened to take all his money out of the bank. At a parish meeting, the congregation of St. Mark’s Parish agreed to d0 likewise.

When the bank would not budge, George went to the leaders of the neighborhood Protestant churches. They joined the effort and removed their money, but the bank still would not cooperate. Eventually the bank failed and disappeared from the Buffalo area. George’s actions were based on Jesus’s conversation with his Father to take care of his people, especially the most vulnerable.

How do we react to the results of our prayer or conversation with God? We have no Lepers to convert; however, we do find some people more agreeable with our temperament than others. So what about those people with whom we struggle to find commonality? Do our actions toward them really stem from the outcome of our prayer? Our efforts to support the vulnerable in our midst may never match George’s dramatic actions, but perhaps with earnest conversation with God our father, our actions may resemble more closely the actions 0f Jesus, his Son.