Reflection for Friday, May 4, 2018: 5th Week in Easter.

dc.contributor.authorPurcell, Tomen_US
dc.contributor.cuauthorPurcell, Thomas J., IIIen_US IIen_US 5en_US
dc.description.abstractImagine being in Judea 2,000 years ago and hearing through the grapevine that an itinerant teacher was drawing crowds, preaching a new order in which sharing love, not acquiring and exerting power, was the divine imperative.  Imagine being in His presence and hearing Him tell you – an individual, insignificant in your own mind and lowest in the power structure of the time – that you had been chosen by God to bear witness to this new order by responding with love to all the personal harms that you might receive.  Imagine instead that you are a member of the powerful elite and see the burgeoning movement and feel the threat to the existing order and your own position of privilege.  Imagine evaluating His words not by reflecting on the radical liberating power they bring but instead on the harm they bring to the status quo.|What disquietude must people have felt upon hearing Jesus' words?  What hope?  What fear?  Look at our world today, and our public and private personas.  Look at the reaction our pope receives when he reminds people to rejoice and to love by their actions, not just to exalt one faith precept above all others.  Listen to the words of politicians and commentators and people who profess to follow faithfully the message of this messiah, who nonetheless compartmentalize and rationalize and act in ways that are inconsistent with the core intent of that message. |Jesus COMMANDS us to love one another.  He didn't mince words.  He didn't suggest, or express hope that we would do what He commanded. He didn't exhort, He didn't imply.  There aren't many instances where Jesus is quoted so strongly as He is today in His message to us.  So, if that is the command, how are we responding? Do we feel the awe and power of Jesus' message as did those who first heard it 2,000 years ago?  Do we feel uplifted?  Do we feel threatened?  What are we doing?  How are we acting?  Are we loving, or are we waffling?  Are we listening, or are we ignoring the call to act?  Are we even aware of the person in front of us and his or her needs in this moment of encounter, or are we so self-absorbed that we don't hear their cry of pain?|Jesus doesn't command people in general, he commands YOU and me and each one of us individually.  Because He commands each one of us, we each are individually accountable.  How did we or didn't we love when we saw someone in need, or heard someone ask for help, or observed a situation that called for a loving response?  It seems to me we can look in the mirror frequently and ask ourselves pointedly – how am I doing with this love command?  What little things did I do or not do today, or in the last hour, or even in the last few minutes, that responded to this command?  Did I make someone's life better by a simple act of kindness?  Did I ignore someone by my insensitivity and in doing so make their life a little sadder?  How aware am I of my loving, or un-loving responses and actions? |In a Walter Mitty moment I might envision great things that I could do if only I had this or that opportunity or power.  However, it seems that the more times I can say I did respond as Jesus commanded in the little things, then the more actual good I have done in my life.  The sum of all the little things can be a great flood, and if we each would love as Jesus commands in the little things, then the flood of good across the world would be powerful beyond imagining.  If only . . .|And so my prayer today is to stop, look, listen, and act – stop the things I am doing or not doing without thinking, be aware of and look at the person in front of me, listen carefully to her or his words and needs, and love as Jesus has commanded me to do.en_US
dc.identifier.otherLectionary Number: 289en_US
dc.publisherUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.publisher.locationOmaha, Nebraska, United Statesen_US
dc.rightsThese reflections may not be sold or used commercially without permission. Personal or parish use is permitted.en_US
dc.rights.holderUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.subject.local1Acts 15:22-31en_US
dc.subject.local2Psalms 57:8-9, 10, 12en_US
dc.subject.local4John 15:12-17en_US
dc.titleReflection for Friday, May 4, 2018: 5th Week in Easter.en_US
dc.title.seriesDaily Reflections (Meditations) on the Scriptures from the Roman Catholic Lectionary.en_US
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