"The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy."- Psalm 126
Our journey of faith this weekend starts with a telling of God's dominant power. Yes, the God of all creation can bring all things into His alignment. The issue with this being a singular view of God leaves the many facets of the personhood of God out of the picture.
The great things that the Lord has done for us are many. The Psalm points this out concerning what He did for the Israelites. The Psalm also echos into our own time as we acknowledge what Christ did for us in His life as Jesus.
These two instances are good reasons for us to gauge our humility in action. We witness this in the Gospel as Jesus defends a woman caught in adultery. Jewish law would say we should stone her to death for violating one of the great commandments. Jesus humbles the angry crowd.
With a simple scribble in the dirt, Jesus calls out the hypocritical B.S. of the Jews ready to kill the woman, (which ironically violates another of the great commandments). Notice, His action of compassion after the crowd disperses.
Jesus- “Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?”
Woman- “No one, sir.”
Jesus- “Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
The great teacher didn't use the mighty force He had at His disposal. He merely applied some Love & Logic to the situation. Those two traits of human dignity give us the best ways to navigate the world, and Jesus leveraged that for the woman's life.
St. Paul convinces us that while he teaches from a place of authority, he sits in a state of humility as he is still maturing in the faith. Thank God for that! Paul's admission that he is still learning and growing is a fantastic example for us today. If the greatest catechist and teacher of the faith says, "It is not that I have already taken hold of it
or have already attained perfect maturity,
but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it,
since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus."
Just a quick reminder- Jesus has taken you and me as a possession at our baptism.
Now take a quick scroll of your Social Media feeds. Look at all the stones being thrown back and forth between people. What should be our response? I have to remember that when I see someone directly violating Christian law in one post and then promoting Jesus in the next, I have this overwhelming need to cite scripture and correct my brothers and sisters. I am not teaching from a place of maturity, however, like Paul, I'd like to think after a decade of professional ministry I have some knowledge to impart.
The aim of those encounters is not to upset, but to help identify that WE ALL have some growth to do. Each time I am compelled to write a response, I also ask my heart if I am angry, or compassionate? I usually start angry, wait, and then move to compassion. I hope that would be the right path that Jesus asks of me. I don't always get it right.
In any case, the focus is not on their misstep, but my quick temper. So I need to practice drawing lines in the sand and judging my steps more carefully. Care to join me?