There is so much in the world we do not control. Most of it actually, from whether the sun shines or the rain falls to the political and economic forces that impact our lives to pretty much everything in between.
But my friends we can choose …
We can choose how we choose to act in this crazy mixed up world.
We can choose to smile at a stranger, hug a loved one, or hold that unkind thought without speaking it into the world.
We can choose to add our creative energy to the mix, choose to do what we do best, choose to learn something we don’t know.
We can choose to share and to laugh. We can choose to ask the impertinent questions about unjust structures. We can choose to show up where and when it matters.
Each day, a fresh opportunity to choose to live and to love, no matter how messy it all seems.
What is better than that?
Today’s Gospel from Matthew is certainly timely (Matt 5:38-48).
Go read it.
Love your enemies. Resist evil itself, not evildoers. The way of Jesus is not easy my friends, but it is transformative. It can transform our own hearts, our web of relationships, and our world.
The first reading from Levitivus is also challenging and timely (Lev 19: 1-2, 17-18).
“Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen, do not incur sin because of him. Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Today’s Gospel tells the story of the syrophoenician woman, whose persistent faith led to the healing of a loved one. I was inspired by the Gospel, and by current events, to create this video reflection praying with persistent Gospel women.
The women speak out and act for healing, for justice, for compassion, and for love.
Grant me justice
Even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs
I will be made well.
They have no wine.
May they inspire us, strengthen us, pray for us, be with us.
May be be blamed for persisting as well, for the sake of the Gospel
When I was studying theological ethics at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, one of my main research areas was the ethics and spirituality of Christian nonviolent resistance.
Resistance of course now is a trending hashtag on Twitter. I was invited to share some of my thoughts and research about the urgent need for an ethic of resistance grounded in relationship in a guest blog post for NETWORK Lobby (the folks behind Nuns on the Bus).
Whatever comes next, it is crucial that we develop an ethic of resistance that is grounded in human dignity and right relationship. Otherwise, we face the danger of recreating and repeating negative cycles of violent and dehumanizing language and actions. …
In fact, we would all do well to read up on the history of resistance to social sin. Resistance is not futile, but neither is it easy. The Christian tradition of resistance begins with Jesus, and think of where his path of resistance led. Jesus resisted dehumanizing social norms, created a wide web of relationship, and engaged in liberating action for the oppressed. In the centuries since, Christians have followed in his footsteps and resisted social sin and injustice.
Read the rest over on the NETWORK blog.