Saint Jerome, a 4th-century priest, said:

“Someone may ask, ‘How is justice greater than all the other virtues?’ The other virtues gratify the one who possesses them; justice does not give pleasure to the one possessing it, but instead pleases others.”

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In righteousness you answer us, by your awesome deeds, God of our salvation— you, who are the security of all the far edges of the earth, even the distant seas. You establish the mountains by your strength; you are dressed in raw power. You calm the roaring seas; calm the roaring waves, calm the noise of the nations. Those who dwell on the far edges stand in awe of your acts. You make the gateways of morning and evening sing for joy.

Psalm 65:5-8

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On September 1, 2019 Hurricane Dorian, a swirling mass of clouds with 185 mph winds, came to rest over the Bahamas. Two days later the storm moved on, leaving hundreds of people dead or missing and a ravaged landscape in its wake.

In today’s reading the psalmist praises the “God of our salvation,” who is the security of the far edges of the earth and calms the roaring waves. Where is God today? Where is God when storms rip through the Gulf of Mexico and glaciers at the far edges of the earth are melting faster than ever before?

God is still here. But somewhere along the line, we humans lost our way. We have forgotten that we can be active partners in cooperation with God’s salvation and in the care of creation.

God so loved the world that God sent Jesus to live on the face of this earth, like one of us. How much do you love the world, and how much are you willing to change to save it?

Heidi Thorsen Oxford

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God of creation, give me strength to turn away from my selfish ways and instead protect this world that you have made. I want to be an active partner in your saving work, not only in the life to come but here, now. Amen.

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The present form of the world passes away, and there remains only the joy of having used this world to establish God’s rule here. All pomp, all triumphs, all selfish[ness] ... All of that passes away.

What does not pass away is love.

Saint Oscar Romero, bishop and martyr, from a 1979 homily

Heidi Thorsen Oxford

Heidi Thorsen Oxford is a hospital chaplain, the Outreach Coordinator for Chapel on Green, New Haven, and a candidate for ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Things that bring her joy include: her husband, two cats, painting religious icons, and drinking tea.

Piano Sonata No. 14 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2

Garry Bailey

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