One of the beautiful aspects of the Catholic Church is the opportunity to read and hear the Word of God which is being shared around the world. On any given day, the daily readings- Old Testament Passage, a Psalm, New Testament Passage, and Gospel passage-are read and heard by a diversity of people groups.
Men, women, and children from America, Russia, Sweden, Iraq, Italy, Honduras, and a host of other nations are engaging in passages which are meant to transform the soul. These reading are meant to cultivate a greater love for God and human beings. Readings grounded in history and blooming in our lives for the sake of God’s glory and our flourishing as human beings.
The readings function like rain falling down on pavement, saturating city streets, and puddling on unpaved roads. Just as rain washes away impurities, moves small and large obstructions, and provides nourishment, the readings act in similar ways to affect our souls, minds, and actions. Whereas too much rain can become detrimental to the landscape of an area, there is never a moment when too much reading of God’s word is detrimental.
Recently the daily readings recalled the moment when Jesus called his listeners to forgive, love, and pray for enemies.
Enemies. Those men and women who for whatever cultural, historical, religious, or political reason have chosen to identify another group as not deserving full recognition as human beings. At some point, I have been the enemy and I have made an enemy. Who am I kidding…I have made several enemies.
So here is the thing. This same word was announced across the world recently. A number of different groups of people from a variety of nations read and heard those same words…
Forgive your enemies.
Love your enemies.
Pray for your enemies.
Americans are to forgive, love, and pray for Russians.
Brits are to forgive, love, and pray for Iranians.
Venezuelans are to forgive, love, and pray for Americans.
Democrats and Republicans. Black Lives Matter and Law Enforcement. American citizens and non-citizens. Socialists and Capitalist.
We are to forgive, love, and pray for one another.
Now you may never read passage from the Bible. You may never darken the doors of a religious setting. But all of us can take a moment to do somethings which catalyzes opportunities to see each other as human beings.
When society gets difficult take a moment and get washed. Take moments to stand out in the rain. It would be nice to standout in the rain as full human beings and see what we look like when the water washes us clean.