“Engaging ourselves in radical Christian charity and humility!”
(Based on Deut 34:1-12 and Mt 18:15-20 – Wednesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)
Online social networking services, over the last few years, have achieved immense levels of popularity and usage.
Many use them, on account of their…
… versatility in finding and maintaining contacts
… easy to use features and the availability of readily accessible tools
… resourcefulness which helps to gain a lot of information and entertainment
One of the features that is available on most of these networking sites/apps is the option to “unfriend” someone.
To “unfriend” means to remove someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking website.
The technique to do that is pretty simple:
Going to the person’s profile
Hover over the ‘Friends’ button at the top of the profile
Click on “Unfriend’
It’s as easy and straightforward as that to “throw” someone out of the friend list!
Real life too, sometimes falls into this “simplistic” technique to “unfriend” people from life – especially people who are close to us and who ought to deserve “repeated” chances before the ties are severed…
… Someone offends us – either out of ignorance or perhaps due to some reason – but we easily “break ties” with that person
… Someone speaks a bad word about us and we take so much offence that we lose all our peace of mind and devise schemes to terminate or harm that person – either physically or socially or mentally
… Someone acquires a bad name – out of false rumours or maybe even out of some true incident; but we make a mountain of the mole and go on to further critically damage the image of that person
Our life sometimes makes it so easy “to unfriend” someone…
… sometimes, even our own family members, or close friends or some other person who has played a deep role in our lives.
The Gospel of the Day invites us to reflect in depth on this our trend to “unfriend” people from our lives, without even giving them further chances or opportunities to remedy themselves.
Jesus says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone” (Mt 18: 15)
Jesus was a person who had an important principle in all His teachings: the need to strive towards perfection.
In Mt 5: 48, Jesus says, “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”
It’s this pursuit of perfection in human relationships that makes Jesus to invite us in being careful and cautious with respect to severing our relationships with one another.
“Friendship”, it is said, “is delicate as a glass – once broken it can be fixed but there will always be cracks”
Jesus, therefore warns us on the need to “handle with care” our relationships.
The “pursuit towards perfection” makes it inevitable for a Christian – a follower of Christ, to go beyond one’s own limitations and situations in maintaining relationships…
… by preserving and perfecting the fine ones
… by mending and restoring the broken ones.
It is easy to say “I don’t like you any more” because of some bad experience
… but it takes Christian Gentleness to respect and accept a person, despite his/her faults or failures
It is easy to show a person the exit-door in our relationship due to some misunderstanding or ego-clash
… but it takes Christian Humility to let go of one’s “proud and adamant mentality” and lower oneself to try to understand better the person in fault and his/her situation and background
It is easy to harbour grudge and to nurture ill-feelings and to spread the contagion of malicious talks regarding a person whom we don’t like
… but it takes Christian Charity to allow the honey of Christ’s love to permeate our hearts and to be able to find goodness even in the midst of a slush of ‘apparent dirt’ in the person
Our lives, families, communities and societies are being plagued by a number of cancers with respect to relationships:
Backbiting and spreading false rumours about people and situations
Cooking up bogus stories and building up on some true incidents to fashion an “interesting and spicy” report regarding particular persons
Actively engaging in forming groups and cliques against someone in order to satiate one’s own pleasures and get through one’s personal agenda for life
Are we ready to be bold to let go of all such tendencies to which we can be prone and instead engage ourselves in radical Christian charity and humility?
St Clare of Assisi, whose feast we celebrate today, is an inspiration for us to firmly trust in God.
Let her words inspire us:
“Place your mind before the mirror of eternity!
Place your soul in the brilliance of glory!
And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation!
Gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him.”
“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.
If we love things, we become a thing.
If we love nothing, we become nothing.
Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation.
This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others.”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
CHRIST DESCENDED INTO HELL
Christ went down into the depths of death so that “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”
Jesus, “the Author of life”, by dying destroyed “him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.”
Henceforth the risen Christ holds “the keys of Death and Hades”, so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”
“Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began.”
“He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him – He who is both their God and the son of Eve.
“I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead!” (Cf. CCC # 635)