Do as Jesus Directs

02-23-2020Weekly Reflection©LPi

The Gospels continue to challenge us to the core. This is especially true in the way our social relationships have developed. Feeling safe and secure in the world are not things that come easily these days. Actually, we may find ourselves feeling more reservation, caution, reluctance, and fear than ever before. In a moment’s notice, life can drastically change. When someone has been intentionally and violently hurt, especially someone we love, we can all too easily find ourselves very attracted to the Old Testament philosophy of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

Intellectually, we know this is not what Jesus wants us to do. But on some level it just seems to make practical or even political sense. After all, why should we allow someone to get away with a heinously violent act? Yet, Jesus cannot be any clearer than he is with this! Offer no resistance to one who is evil. Turn the other cheek as well. When pressed into service, go two miles. Do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow. Love your enemies. Now, take a moment to reflect on all of this. Consider a horrible act of violence committed against someone you love. Listen. Think. Be honest. Can you do as Jesus directs?

We want to be holy. But we are more comfortable with a definition of holiness that can keep us saying our prayers and on our knees in church. We are not comfortable with a definition of holiness that has something to say about to how we react to and negotiate life. We like to keep a sharp and strong line between the secular and the sacred. In fact, we would prefer that the doors between them be kept closed. God wants us to be holy as He is holy. If God sees this one way and we see it another, then where does this leave us on our journey to God?

Our minds like the practical, worldly, and secular answers to things. They are more black and white and at first glance appear to make more sense. Holiness wells up from our souls and is beyond reason. It cannot be explained. It is something we just simply know comes as a result of deep prayer. The truly contemplative eye knows inwardly that what Jesus asks is true and then willingly does it. It may not be easy.

Llamado a la Santidad

Existe una relación profunda entre la Primera Lectura y el Evangelio de la Liturgia de hoy. Moisés, mandado por el Señor, habla a la asamblea de la siguiente manera: “Sean santos, porque yo, el Señor, soy santo.” (Levítico 19:2). Se daba la ley de la santidad donde toda la asamblea era invitada. Dios, por medio de Moisés, ordenaba al pueblo de Israel a ser santo como Él. Jesús daba a sus discípulos la misma dirección, no solo de santidad sino de perfección. ¡Santos y perfectos! Cada día es una oportunidad para ser mejor que el día anterior; es una oportunidad perfecta para escalar la santidad. Jesús, en el Evangelio, habla hasta de si alguien “te golpea la mejilla derecha, ofrécele también la otra.” (Mateo 5:39). ¿Qué significa esto? ¿Cómo vivirlo en la sociedad violenta en que vivimos?

Significa que todos debemos de poner un granito de arena yendo más allá de las necesidades de la otra persona; no se acepta el conformismo. La perfección es precisamente estirar el servicio al otro hasta que duela. Es decir, haciendo actos buenos sin dramatismo. Visitar un enfermo, saludar al vecino, escuchándose en familia sin gritos ni peleas que lastiman y amargan el día. La santidad se construye con actos pequeños; los santos así se forjaron. Santa Teresa de Calcuta decía que: “Haz cosas ordinarias con un amor extraordinario. El amor comienza en casa, y no es cuánto hacemos, sino por la cantidad de amor que ponemos en la acción que hacemos.” (Solía decir estas palabras, según un sacerdote amigo de ella).

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