September 13, 2022, 10:00 AM

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. Jeremiah 8:20

“We are not saved.”  This phrase has been unchanged for over 2,500 years (at least).  Israel had not been saved from its enemies, despite waiting and waiting.  The summer was over again, and the harvest had been picked up.  Yet, there was no change in their situation. 

We hear a similar refrain today.  “We are not saved,” shouts from those caught in what seems like an endless war in Ukraine.  The forests burst into flames, the rain floods the lowlands, and the glaciers melt as climate change causes those affected to yell out, “We are not saved.” 

The summer is ending.  The harvest is coming in.  Indeed, given the present chaos of the world, none of us are saved.  So, what did God do to save Israel?  More importantly, what is God doing to save us?   We may find those questions inadequate to address the issue of salvation. 

Historically, salvation has been seen as everything returning to a pastoral setting where the lamb and the lion lie down together, and everything unfolds in perfect peace.  This was to appear when Jesus, the Messiah, entered the world.  Yet, we still seem to “not be saved.”

For Jeremiah, his recorded lament occurred after the harvest was in and the summer was over.  And still the people were waiting to be saved.  Jeremiah exposes the flaw in the thinking that salvation is timed by the seasons but is not found in them. 

St. Francis fought valiantly in the army in his youth.  As he looked for salvation from the enemy, he found none.  He realized early in his life the vanity of seeking salvation in traditional ways.  By viewing the world as “us” versus “them,” there can never be a winner.  In God’s world, everyone and everything is saved.  Otherwise, Christ’s presence is for naught. 

Salvation was offered to Israel during the summer, and in the harvest itself.  St. Francis experienced salvation when he discovered that everything in creation is connected, just as God the Creator is connected with the Son and the Son is connected with the Holy Spirit.  God’s salvation came as easily through the harvest as in the deliverance of Israel.  Salvation is staying connected to God, and not expecting a certain outcome. 

Salvation is on a different plane than what we usually imagine.  Salvation is participating in God’s unfolding of the universe, and not in our preconceived notions.  Salvation is present every day.  Look no further than in God’s first revelation to the world, namely, creation.  In creation’s time and space, Christ’s salvation always finds us. 

Consider this week spending time in silence and listen for the salvation of God that seeks you. 

Blessings and Peace,

Fr. John Meulendyk