Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gospel Thought for Today: Bear Witness

What do you do when someone blatantly lies to your face when the fact is you know the truth? Do you call them out? Run away screaming "Liar, Liar?" Do you try to convince them of the real truth according to you? Or, do you calmly say your peace and walk away? Remember, as Christians, we must be gauging our own reactions in relation to how Christ reacted. Instead of throwing spears back at the "misguided" person, show them what telling the truth looks like. Be gently honest . . . consistently. One of two things will happen . . . eventually, they begin the path toward truthfulness or they just don't come around anymore. Think before you speak or react, lay apostles. What does your behavior say about you?

In today's Gospel (Luke 11:47-54), the scribes and Pharisees react with fear, pride and jealousy instead of love, humility, and eagerness to please God:

The Lord said: “Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’ in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

In the booklet Heaven Speaks About Stress, St. Padre Pio asks us to live a life of service, not judgment:

"Serve each other in joy and patience. There is far too much talk about relationships. You were created to serve, dear apostles. Serve. Do not keep scorecards of who is serving the most or who is serving the best. You have only to account for yourself so why do you concern yourself so often with the lack of service in others. Set an example of consistent service and you will find that others fall into line with you and improve. Love each other as Jesus loves you. Jesus forgives and forgets. Jesus does not wait to catch you at a bad moment when you are not doing your best or when you are discouraged. Jesus encourages you and overlooks your flaws. Do this for others, most particularly the souls who are called to walk through your life with you. No judging, my friends. Judging is for Jesus. Put the best possible light on others and expect the best from them and you will not be disappointed. Love passionately in that if you are called to walk with someone, be loyal to them as Jesus is loyal to you. Look for ways to make them feel cherished and appreciated. Small acts of kindness can change someone’s life."

Lay apostles, pay attention to how you react in adverse situations. Remember we are all imperfect beings . . . including the one who is disrupting your peace. Stay calm and forgive.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me to gauge my reactions as if You are right in front of me . . . after all, You are!

God bless,

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