Friday, March 16, 2018

Don’t let people pull you into their storms. Pull them into your peace.

“I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Scripture Text: (WIS 2:1A, 12-22)
The wicked said among themselves,
thinking not aright:
"Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God
and styles himself a child of the LORD.
To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
merely to see him is a hardship for us,
Because his life is not like that of others,
and different are his ways.
He judges us debased;
he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure.
He calls blest the destiny of the just
and boasts that God is his Father.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him."
These were their thoughts, but they erred;
for their wickedness blinded them,
and they knew not the hidden counsels of God;
neither did they count on a recompense of holiness
nor discern the innocent souls' reward.

In our first reading from Mass we hear of how the wicked plan to beset the just and those who are trying to obey God. Their plan entails revilement, torture and even death. The reading reminds me of a bucket of live crabs, some of which could climb out and escape. But the other crabs pull them back down to prevent any from leaving the bucket, ensuring the whole group’s demise. We describe this “crab mentality” with the phrase, "if I can't have it, neither can you" and we often see it operating in our society. We see it whenever members of a group attempt to reduce the self-confidence of any peer who achieves success beyond the others.

How do we let go of our “crab mentality” to help each other climb out of the bucket and so draw each other closer to God?

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