Reflection for Friday, May 27, 2022: 6th Week of Easter.
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|Reading the advice columns in the newspaper is something I enjoy. Just the other day a woman wrote in for some advice about her relationship with her boyfriend. She shared they have a lot in common with the exception of religion, politics and how they view the world. The columnist noted that perhaps the writer likes everything about her cheeseburger except the bun, meat and cheese. This exchange brought to mind the maxim "best not to discuss religion and politics." Sadly the opportunities for dialogue about religion and politics are now often avoided out of fear of offending someone or of being attacked or of losing relationships.|In today's reading in Acts, Paul bravely talks with the people of Corinth about the word of God. He finds the strength to teach by listening to God's assurance to not be afraid. Paul's teachings were challenging to many people who appealed to the tribunal. The proconsul refused to hear the case stating that the matter was question of arguments over doctrine and titles and your own law…See to it yourselves.|Dialogue is a mode of communication in which we seek to learn and understand rather than persuade. Today, as we see conflicts similar to what Paul experienced, it is easy to believe that we have recently lost the art of dialogue. But today's reading reminds us that we have long been challenged to try to understand another's point of view.|Pope Francis encourages us to deepen our commitment to dialogue with these words: …So, the true Christian is like this: not complaining or angry, but convinced, by the strength of the resurrection, that no evil is infinite, no night is endless, no man is definitively wrong, no hatred is invincible to love. (General Audience, October 4, 2017)|Today I pray to trust God's encouragement to not be afraid. I ask for the grace of careful listening. I pray for the courage to explore how my values can be lived to serve others. I ask God to help me see the humanity of another person with whom I disagree. I pray to take the time needed for deeper understanding.|Here is the US as we officially mark the beginning of summer, we might plan to travel to see people we have not seen for a while, we will no doubt be at picnics and barbeques, and we might find ourselves in large groups enjoying music and sporting events. Imagine your next gathering of family or neighbors where any discussion of religion and politics brings a sense of deeper understanding and a renewed commitment to making the world a better place. That sounds like a delicious cheeseburger.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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