by Rosemarie Pace
Pax Christi New York

Ed. Note: At key moments throughout the liturgical year, long-time regional coordinator Rosemarie Pace will offer reflections timed the season with accompanying prayers and suggested actions.

The harvest of justice is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.
(James 3:18)

autumn leaves under the sun

While the liturgical season of Ordinary Time continues, we have moved into the astronomical and meteorological season of fall. As we know, Ordinary Time is described as a time to grow spiritually, to deepen our faith through prayer and contemplation. Like summer, I have always considered it a time to step back a bit, to find time to relax and recreate. After all, many organizations and parishes cancel meetings for the summer. School years end and, despite some summer sessions, they don’t resume for a couple of months. In short, I think of it as a time to rest up a bit and restore one’s spiritual energy as well as one’s physical energy.

Was I surprised when I read a totally different perspective on the two seasons of summer and fall! Summer was described as active, and fall as the time to wind down. Nature offered the evidence. Summer was pictured as the season of abundant growth, fall as the time for falling leaves and “dying” plants. As such, fall is considered the time when creation prepares for a winter nap. In spring, the seeds are sown. In summer, the plants are nurtured. In fall, the harvest is reaped. I guess, being a city girl and regardless of having a small garden, I wasn’t thinking that way at all, but I liked the image.

All this got me re-thinking and pondering harvest. During this portion of our Ordinary Time, let’s reflect on what we have to harvest. What did we cultivate during the summer? Did our summer prayer and contemplation strengthen our resolve to harvest greater peace and social justice in our homes, communities, and the world? Did our summer activities lead to a harvest of deeper compassion and mercy for victims of war, poverty, and violence across our borders? Are we ready to harvest ways to heal the sick and disabled, along with the divisions in our Church and politics? Can we be counted among those who cultivate peace so that there can be a harvest of justice sown in peace, as St. James wrote nearly two millennia ago? Let us pray that our answer to at least some of these questions is a resounding yes! Let us pray: Amen!


Lord Jesus
in images of farming and rural life
You announced your gospel to the poor.

We pray for rural men and women
especially for those who work hard in the fields.

Give us the strength of your Spirit to be witnesses and collaborators of the creative providence.

May we always sow in ourselves and in our families
the holiness and hope of Christian life,
with the same zeal with which we cultivate our land.

Bless the daily efforts of farmers and farm workers.
Let all recognize the dignity of their labor.

Raise from among us men and women at the service of the gospel,
sisters and brothers to announce unceasingly
Your love for this world that is your own field and farm.

We give you glory forever and ever.

~by Fr. Ermalao Portella, Colombia
in Prayer Without Borders: Celebrating Global Wisdom from Catholic Relief Services

Suggested Actions

Be attuned to nature as fall advances to winter. Embrace the changes. Reflect on them. Learn from then.

As we celebrate Eucharist throughout this season and Thanksgiving in particular, be grateful for those who harvest all that nourishes us from bodily food to divine inspiration. Pray for them. Pray with them. And when necessary, speak out in their support.

Do your own harvesting of good thoughts, words, and deeds.

Look for other opportunities to stand up and speak out for peace and justice at Pax Christi NY’s Events page and at the pages of our Partners. Also be alert to peace actions from colleagues in the peace community, for example Peace Action, Veterans for Peace, and War Resisters League.

Leave a Reply