And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
In the heat of the day, in the hubbub of our daily routine, we often rush past one another, especially those we are closest to. Indeed we can easily rush past similar “breaking of the bread” moments offered by someone close to us, or even by a total stranger. Here is a late summer assignment before the whirlwind of the coming fall routine descends upon us:
This week, try to look more deliberately into the eyes of those you live with and work with —those good folks who figuratively offer you the bread of life. Listen more intently to what is said – and don’t miss those gestures of hope and life and love that speak so much louder than the worlds we stumble over. Be conscious of your personal gestures of life and love – all those small, often hidden but nonetheless important ways in which your own steadfast love makes a difference. Be aware of what you personally accomplish as you bring healing to the world you inhabit, as you bring peace to frayed relationships within your circle of life, as you build community in the most ordinary places where the living and dying and rising of Jesus really do make quite a difference.
This is the Christian way. This is the privilege we all enjoy as we let the words and work of Jesus come alive in a world so fragmented, so polarized, so hungry for “the living bread come down from heaven.” In this context let us take to heart the powerful challenge of today’s 2nd reading: “Brothers and sisters: be kind to one another, and compassionate. Forgive one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. And live always in love.”
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, too often we give our happiness away because we repeatedly dwell on words thatupset us. Somehow we think repeating the story over and over will relieve our anger and in some measure get back at the other. But in reality this approach only stirs up the emotions all the more and causes us to feel far worse. Teach us how to appropriately address the wrong doing. Give us someone with whom we can share our hurt so we can get the poison out. But, then, Lord let us be freed of all the negativity that invades our hearts when the badmouthing takes precedent in our day. We turn to you, Lord, to help us with this challenge.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!