Dear friends on the journey,
Today’s readings are challenging and present us some serious issues to consider. The first reading shows us that, upon creation, God gave us free will and what happens when we choose our will over God’s. In the gospel, Jesus said that a kingdom which is divided cannot stand. He was also rocking the boat, challenging the societal norms, the status quo and creating uneasiness.
Division seems to be a word used a lot lately about the world, politics, economics, society, religion, communities, families and in our own selves. Divisions among and in these arenas are causing some shaky ground these days. The news is filled with stories of conflict. Perhaps they don’t directly affect our daily living, but they certainly impact our internal balance and how we view our sisters and brothers in God’s family. It’s a challenge to view the world, not just through our fuzzy lens, but as God views his beloved creation.
We may have inherited this division, but God has never left us alone with it. Throughout salvation history, God has given us ample opportunities and solutions to combat and heal the divisions in and around us, the best and most complete of all being Jesus, our redeemer, brother, healer, teacher, friend, and guide. In recent weeks, we’ve celebrated Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, but he did not leave us alone there. He gave us the Holy Spirit, the powerful working of the Trinity and Jesus’ ongoing presence in the Eucharist. Other God-given “resources” to help us to discern God’s will in our own personal lives and how we view the world around us include prayer, scripture, tradition, church teaching, and the saints.
I know it’s super cliche but I honestly believe in the help of one simple question: What would Jesus do? Honestly though, this question has assisted me many times, especially when I couldn’t seem to make sense of a situation. What does God want me to do? What would Jesus do?
What would Jesus do if people from other lands came to his neighborhood? What would Jesus do if he was a baker asked to make a cake? What would Jesus do about a billion hungry people? What would Jesus do for the homeless person? What would Jesus do for the newly released prisoner? What would Jesus do for abused children, women and elderly? What would Jesus do about the bully in the classroom? What would Jesus do for the lonely, isolated teen? What would Jesus do about the annoying neighbor? What would Jesus do for a loved one who doesn’t believe or go to church? What would Jesus do with a disagreeable family member? What would Jesus do for you? What would Jesus do for me?
Jesus would love. That’s it.
Maybe the unsteady ground is good for it causes us to think and question the status quo and external influences. Only when we follow God’s will and stand on gospel values will we experience stability.
Faith Life Minister