Each day requires courage to live as a Christian. The world will often tell us to look out for ourselves and to focus on getting ahead. Christ reminds us that we are to live for others. And, in doing so, we find the love we are seeking. This is often counter-cultural. May we find the courage to live each day in the service of others and Christ Jesus!
Do we love someone – or something? Life giving faith is about loving someone or some living thing. We often learn about faith as an expression of belief. And, we do have beliefs as a part of our faith journey. We need them. They help set a foundation of behavior, expectations and life choices. However, if all we have is these things – we miss the joy of love. Ultimately, love is what we seek. And, we can only truly love another person or living thing. As Christians, we are invited to love Jesus! What a gift! We are invited to love all of creation – which includes our pets and the trees and the grass! What gifts! So seek to experience the love of Christ – and all of creation! It is our calling – and our gift!
We are called to be”leaven” in our world and in our very specific life situation. Jesus uses leaven to describe what we can be in a world that often seems impervious to change. And yet, even the smallest amount of leaven causes the entire loaf of bread to rise. We must become leaven in a world that needs more leaven – so we can all rise together! Are you “leaven”? What would you be like if you were?
After conversion, you don’t look out at reality; you look out from reality. In other words, God is not “out there”: you are in God and God is in you. You are in the middle of Reality! You’re a part of it. It’s a mystery of participation. This is a completely different experience of life. I don’t have to fully write my private story. It’s being written with me and in me. I am already a character on the stage. I am being used, I am being chosen, I am being led. After conversion, you will know that your life is not about you; you are about life. You are about God. – Fr. Richard Rohr
Do we hear the call of our Triune Lord? Each of us is called to listen, learn and act in our own unique way. Jesus is our Shepard. He calls us by name. But, do we hear – and heed his call? We are each uniquely made to hear His call in our own unique way. The call may be faint. The call may be unclear. We may not know the way. But, in faith we must act. To hear a call, we must be listening. Are we listening? The call is there – it is our responsibility and opportunity! May we all hear – and act on our unique call.
Our Triune Lord is so very tender to us – despite our sin and shortcomings. We can see this each day of our lives – if we only look for it. We see it in the smile of a friend or spouse. We see it the sun – and the rain – that grace our lives. We see it in the kindness of a stranger who says hello or offers us a gentle smile. It is everywhere!! Do you notice our Lord’s tenderness in your life?
The mystery of the cross teaches us how to stand against hate without becoming hate, how to oppose evil without becoming evil ourselves. Can you feel yourself stretching in both directions—toward God’s goodness and also toward recognition of your own complicity in evil? If you look at yourself at that moment, you will feel crucified. You hang in between, without resolution, your very life a paradox, held in hope by God (see Romans 8:23-25). The goal of God’s work is always healing reconciliation, not retributive justice. And like Jesus, we must invest ourselves in this work of reconciliation that “the two might become one” (see Ephesians 2:13-18). – Fr. Richard Rohr
In a world of pain, hate and violence, it is Jesus who teaches us the answer. He asks us to seek – and be – healing reconciliation. We cannot use the world’s answer – retributive justice. Retribution cannot bring justice. Only forgiveness and love can bring justice and peace. This is true in our lives – and in our society.