Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday's Gospel

Gospel - Mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,and whoever says to his brother,
Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

7 Comments:

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"love is patient, love is kind"

There are different kinds of love and we all get the opportunity to decide which we will have in our lives. I think the kind of love Jesus calls us to is not passive endurance but is active good will.

There are several people who I treat with only tolerance b/c I haven't liked their behavior. I've basically decided to steer clear of them instead of actively finding a way to engage, must less embrace them. Because I've felt injured by their actions and/or words, I've allowed my critical attitude to win out over being a mature and loving christian- not to mention the truly stupid thing I've done in justification of that attitude!

It only takes an act of will to forgive acts and behavior in others- to move toward them with grace. It's not as hard as I've made it seem in my head! It really takes much more energy and attention to avoid and dislike them, and I was beginning to feel a little worn out by that process.

I'm going to work on blessing those people I have distanced from myself, and by that I mean speaking and thinking well of them. In that way I am extending the same kind of mercy God does to me. I think that is what Jesus calls me to do. That's the kind of love he wants me to have for others- active.

 
At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen.

 
At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The unconditional, sacrificial love God gives calls us to live the same way. It means you don’t have to get even, you can choose to forgive instead. A misconception is that all we have to do is make a decision to forgive, then our job is finished, but, no- the blessing part is important: "Invoke blessing upon those who abuse you" (Luke 6:28)
The truth is, none of us can completely forgive without the Holy Spirit's help.

 
At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Marion (Mael Muire) said...

"go first and be reconciled with your brother."

What if your brother (or in my case, sister-in-law) is resolute in behaving vindictively toward your elderly disabled mother? (i.e. repeatedly ignoring her greetings, not responding to her presence in the same room, withholding her grandchildren, and even going so far as teaching her young children to rudely snub their grandmother?)

And the grandmother - my mother - had taken that family into her home as a favor, and has done nothing wrong - except maybe to annoy her daughter-in-law by occasional critical - but very temperate - remarks.

My brother confronts his wife about her behavior, but nothing changes. She is all resolute hatred of our mother. And for no justifiable reason at all. Brother throws up his hands.

This situation went on for years, until the family finally moved out and across the country. (All I can say is, "Thank God!")

No apologies. Little contact.

(Those poor children.)

How does one "reconcile" with that?

 
At 5:56 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

Jesus said, "If you do not forgive, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses". Forgiving others isn't an option but an order! I know it's hard (believe me- I do!), but when the mention of someone creates resentment for you, pray for them. Forgive them as you have been forgiven, for I know I have received mercy and should pass it on. When I pray, whatever I ask for myself, I ask for in double for them. Also consider this, some of the people are in my life who I thought of as "thorns in my side" are the very ones who have taught me most about myself- especially what I am capable of. It's hard, atleast for me to stop resenting them, but praying for them has been a start.

 
At 12:48 AM, Blogger fran said...

Hi Marion,

Family issues are always a bit tricky, aren't they? I wish I had a magic wand to solve the problems of so many, or some tried and true recommendation for you, but I do not. I do think the advice of those posting before and after you is very wise.

My father used to tell us that we had to accept people for who they are, and my husband has said that(regarding family matters)it is important to respect one another's differences. Not always easy, I know, but perhaps a combination of acceptance, respect, prayer and patience will help bring about the reconciliation you desire.

 
At 8:10 AM, Anonymous mindy said...

Hi Marion-
I was thinking more about you last night, as I've had similar issues in my life. In my own experiences I've discovered, for someone to act with what looks like meanness in their heart has usually been b/c that person is hurting. When I focus on their hurt, it helps me look past my own.

I also think of life in terms of there being no accidents. I think all the people who are brought in our lives have an express purpose in being there, for life is really, truly perfect in how it teaches us. Our families aren't created by some chance of fate. Each individual is an important link to another, and sometimes (and oh, it's hard!!) we have to look past things, even a past of "bad" behavior, to make our families whole. If we stay in the past with a person, we miss the experience of the present and lose hope for the future. I am saying this to you, but also to me, for I'm guilty of remaining in the past. I am grateful for your comment, as it reminded me that I'll soon have the opportunity to "bury" part of my past in what has been a tumultuous relationship in my life. Good luck!

 

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