for Sunday, February 6, 2011
One of the great tragedies of our Christian life is that very few of us
live it so strongly that our lives give testimony without words. Surely we
could say, playing on the words of Gandhi, that if we Christians lived what
we preach, the whole world would be Christian.
Today's readings encourage us to look at our lives and to ask ourselves
about the way we live, not about the way others live. We are called to
love others, especially the poor and the oppressed, those who have no
rights in society, those do not have the means to live, etc. The Gospel
does not give us an easy road in this. We cannot say to ourselves: Well,
those people don't work, those people want welfare, those people don't
think right, etc. Instead, it is only the condition of being poor and
oppressed, the condition of having no rights, the condition of not have the
means to live - which is supposed to draw our attention and love.
We need to think of our Lord Jesus and the woman at the well. She had
been married many times and he does not reject her. We need to think of
Simon the tax-collector who had wealth by no belief and was not rejected by
Jesus. We need to think of the many lepers who came to Jesus and found
acceptance in him. We need to think of the immense crowds fed by Jesus,
not even asking if they had food.
Jesus delights in proclaiming God's love for all. Jesus delights in
helping everyone. Jesus turns no one away. Those who leave Jesus leave
Him because of their own decisions or because they see that what He asks of
them will part them from things or people that they value more than Jesus.
Jesus calls us to radical conversion. Perhaps we cannot take that
decision yet, to give our lives to Him totally and without reserve. We can
begin to walk with Him, however, knowing that at some point He will invite
us to give everything for Him. Walking with Him now can be a preparation
for total self-giving.
Remember the parable of the workmen invited to work in the vineyard. Some
came early and some came late and some in between. Jesus accepted them all
and gave them the same wages. What is important is to strive to stay with
Jesus, trying to give our lives over to Him, no matter how imperfectly we
do that now. Then, with His grace and love, we may be invited to give all
and have the courage and strength to do so. Our God is compassion and
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: