Receiving What is Given
Save us, O Lord our God! And gather us from the nations, to give thanks to your holy name, and make it our glory to praise you.
A reflection from Father Tudgay for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
“We reap what is sow”, the old saying goes. Modern perspectives apply a more intentional response to the energy we either exert or don’t, known as karma. Whatever your perspective, whether you ascribe human behavior to fate, luck or karma, we can probably all agree that the Newtonian law of motion has an implication beyond that of physics…that actions provoke reactions, either positive or negative. In my opinion, the Gospel Passage this weekend provides a theological context for the theories that have emerged over centuries.
We know that life happens. There are events that happen in life that cause distress or they are the result of injustice. Events effect us as they do, and they effect different people in different ways. The Sermon on the Mount captures the range of human emotional response to “life’s happenings” in a way that reassures us that, no matter what the circumstance and our reaction to it, God’s response to us is a response of grace and love. No matter what happens or what causes us to feel the way that we feel because of it, God’s consolation is always restorative.
And because God responds to the range of human emotions enumerated in the Gospel with restorative compassion and consolation, so is our task as disciples of Jesus Christ. This isn’t fate, or karma, or luck, it is our intentional response to the injustices in our world precisely because we are disciples and instruments of Jesus Christ in our world. All of the situations and circumstances in this weekend’s Gospel happen in one form or another throughout our lives. Discovering Christ in the midst of them not only heals us and brings us peace in the midst of them, but gives us the ability to be the same compassion to other’s when they find themselves where we once were. That is Christian compassion at work!
Grant us, Lord our God, that we may honor you with all our mind, and love everyone in truth of heart.