Friday, March 23, 2012

They Know Not What They Do

Have you ever encountered an injustice that continues to replay itself over and over in your head months after it occurred?  This morning as I was making coffee, a particular issue (see blog post of January 10, 2012, Grace Under Fire) kept resurrecting itself, my brain trying to understand why this nasty event is still lingering.  I truly have forgiven the person, but I just can't wrap my arms around the fallout.  Why is this man unrelenting in his anger and indifference toward me now?  All I ever did was care about him, support him and most of all, believed in him from the first day we met.  I get the mood swings.  I get pushing away people who truly care about you so you don't get hurt.  But really, it's not about him.  It's about me.  It's about Jesus propelling me forward up the mountain of holiness, and it isn't usually effortless, is it?

So, back to making my coffee.  As this issue was dancing around in my head, I stopped what I was doing and in desperation asked Jesus to please help me to stop thinking about it.  Give me some kind of answer to quiet my mind.  Then, I sat down in my office to start this blog entry.  First thing I do is read Scriptures and the Gospel for the day.  Boy oh boy, Jesus answers me in warp speed sometimes!!

In today's first reading from Wisdom 2:18-22, my answer appeared:

. . . 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.

My gentleness and patience were tested.  This is all part of God's plan to draw us closer to Him.  Withstanding malice when innocent is one of the hardest lessons to learn.  And quite frankly, I don't like it!  But, the reading today brought me back to why we all must stay focused on Jesus and the path straight to Him.  They killed the most Innocent One who walked the face of this earth.  Why should I waste any time trying to figure out the "why" in this man's behavior?  I am thankful he came into my life. No, really!  I am!  Encountering someone with an aggressive exterior was a challenge Jesus prepared me for long ago.  I am so thankful I am able to look past the exterior and see the good in this man.  Hopefully he will come around some day and realize I'm not the enemy. Just someone who truly cares about him.

In one of my favorite books by Anne a lay apostle, Climbing the Mountain, she beautifully describes our path to following in Jesus’ footsteps:

'The Kingdom of God, in my experience, is all about truth. This truth is not negotiable and it does not change. Bad behavior is bad behavior and a bad behavior today does not become a good behavior tomorrow when we look at the spirit of the said behavior. How could it? Sin, a decision to separate oneself from God’s will, is known as sin in God’s Kingdom and none will spend time in heaven or purgatory trying to decide if a sin was a sin. If we search high and low in the next world, we will not find political correctness. What will we find? We will find truth, which is sometimes the opposite of political correctness. From the Christian point of view, which is the point of view Christians must operate from, it is merciful to speak the truth in love. In this time, there will be people who can justly stand up and say, “Nobody told me I was committing sin.” Those of us around these people who are proceeding in ignorance, particularly family members, may be accountable if we fail to offer loving correction. How does one share the truth? As lay apostles, we look always to the example of Jesus Christ in Scripture. First of all we ask ourselves if Jesus was politically correct. Did our Jesus hold back the truth so that people would like Him and not kill Him? No. Jesus Christ spoke the truth in the greatest gentleness and love. He spoke the truth as a teacher speaks the truth, with a goal of illuminating the soul of the person with whom he speaks, thus advancing that person so that the person can go on to accept even greater truths. Did Jesus say, “I know the truth and you do not, therefore I am better than you?” Did Jesus say, “I live the truth and you do not, therefore I am going to heaven and you are not?” Did Jesus say, “If you don’t immediately conform to My exact view of the truth you will go to hell?” Clearly not. It is not Jesus who speaks like this. Remember that Jesus had the complete truth. He was the Truth then and He is the Truth now, and yet, from this position of power Jesus was and is gentle and kind. We, His followers, are called to proceed similarly. We must speak the truth in kindness and gentleness, remembering always that we do not hold ourselves above anyone."

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me to stay focused on You, not on the world and its disappointments.  

God bless,

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