Monday, July 1, 2013

We are made kind by being kind

"Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind."~ St. Catherine of Siena

Scripture Text: (PS 103:1B-2, 3-4, 8-9, 10-11)
R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R.. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

The Lord is kind and merciful. God redeems our life from destruction. However, this life free from destruction may look very different than the life we would imagine. As Jesus notes in the gospel reading today at Mass (Matthew 8:18-22), a life following him will not follow general conventions about “the good life.” As Jesus teaches over and over again, we must give up our focus on building our own lives to fit our own desires in order to enter the abundant life that he wants us to enjoy with him. The challenge each day is to be willing to give up the place “to lay our head” and “the burying of the dead” that distracts us from the greater purposes to which he is calling us. Yet we still do have day-to-day tasks that are part of our calling and our life of love

Our concern about redemption from destruction needs to look beyond our own life. As followers of Jesus and sons and daughters of Abraham we should be working and praying to redeem others from destruction as well. The story of Sodom (Genesis 18:16-33) reminds us of the importance of intercessory prayer for others. What situations in our communities, our nation, and our world need more of our intercessory prayer? Do we trust that prayer makes a difference? In what other ways are we called to do our part to help redeem individuals from destruction that comes from individual choices and unjust social structures? As followers of Jesus how do we work each day to redeem others?

Thankfully God is kind and merciful.

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