November 10, 2019


In the space provided please draw a circle.
There are really only two ways that you drew your circle – clockwise or counterclockwise. In which direction did you trace your circle? Studies have shown (yes, people study such things) that Americans tend to draw circles counterclockwise. This is true in most countries with the exception of Japan and Taiwan. Science has no real explanation for this phenomenon. China uses similar writing techniques and characters yet tends to draw circles counterclockwise too. What are the reasons? Education system or perhaps cultural conditioning? The explanation is yet to be determined.

One thing is sure, we are all on a circle of life. From our Christian perspective we come from God, journey through life and then return to God. As Jesus explains in today’s Gospel (Luke 20:27-38) in God the past, present and future are one whole circle. Our ancestors in faith followed the same patterns, creation, births, death and rebirth through the resurrection in our Lord Jesus Christ, “God is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to God all are alive.”

How we are called to live in our circle of life is outlined by Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians. Paul affirms that God has “loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through grace to strengthen our hearts in every good deed and word.”

Reflection: Scripture Circle
For everything there is a season,
a time for every occupation under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what has been planted…
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance…
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away.

Your moon knows when to rise,
your sun when to set.
Your darkness brings on night
when wild beasts prowl.
The young lions roar to you
in search of prey.
They slink off to dens
to rest at daybreak,
then people rise to work
until the daylight fades.
God, how fertile your genius!
You shape each thing,
you fill the world
with what you do.
Insight from another culture

“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles and everything tries to be round…The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.”

Prayer Practice
In the circle of our lives, God has encouraged us through the people who have believed in us, supported us, worked for us, and encouraged us by deed and example. Who are the people who have entered the circle of your life with encouragement? What words or deeds did they offer to complete your circle of life in hope. Prayerfully thank God for them.
In a similar way, we are given our gifts to be good stewards. Who have you reached out to beyond your circle, to believe in, support, work for and encourage in word and in deed? Pray for them and thank God for the opportunity to be love in action.

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