Today’s Thoughts: “The Church which “goes forth” is a community of missionary disciples who take the first step, who are involved and supportive, who bear fruit and rejoice. An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:19), and therefore we can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast. Such a community has an endless desire to show mercy, the fruit of its own experience of the power of the Father’s infinite mercy. Let us try a little harder to take the first step and to become involved. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The Lord gets involved and he involves his own, as he kneels to wash their feet. He tells his disciples: “You will be blessed if you do this”” (Pope Francis – Evangelii Gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel)
Pope Francis words today might not seem like they touch on our readings but they do. Pope Francis challenges us to be people of the world, to be people who get down and dirty with those around us. We are to be people of mercy and compassion. We are to be people who find the good in others even if they have done us wrong. We are to be people who bring joy to the world.
Sometimes this can be a difficult task. When others hurt us, our natural response is to keep them at a distance, to wait for their apology, to seek justice, to wait for repayment, to hold on to the hurt. However, Jesus challenges us to be people who seek reconciliation, who offer forgiveness, who move beyond the hurt, who are people of service and joy.
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 5:20-26) Jesus teaches us about sin. He does not talk about mortal sin and venial sin. Jesus just talks about sin. The things we do, don’t do, the things we say or don’t say that hurt our relationship with God. Sin as Jesus speaks about it is not hierarchical it is on a continuum, anger at one end, killing someone at the other. If we do not deal with our anger, we are headed down the wrong road. So, in the Gospel today Jesus asks us to look at all our faults, our failings, our struggles with others whether they are small or great. He asks us to seek forgiveness and to be compassionate so that we remain on the right road.
In other words, we are to reach out to others, to serve others, to bring the gift of God’s joy to others. And if we live life this way we will be blessed!
Have a blessed Friday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...