Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
As I pray that God will conform me into the likeness of his Son, I become more aware of how Jesus dealt with the pitfalls of his day. Under the cloud of Roman rule and the hypocrisy and weaknesses of the ruling Jews in the Sanhedrin, life was challenging if not difficult for a holy Jewish Rabbi ‘from the North’ and his rag tag band of disciples - who were focused on proclaiming the Mercy of God, raising the dead, healing the sick and freeing the oppressed. Perhaps the pitfalls of Jesus’ day were not so different than those we face in a “Have” country in the 21st Century of this ‘common era’ of world history. What did Jesus do when well meaning Jewish leaders came to speak to him late at night about the political oppression and racialized systems they were all facing, and advocating that Jesus join their group “action”? Jesus told them about the Kingdom of God, and told them to take up their cross and follow him. What did Jesus do in the midst of all the marketeering of goods, and the focus on wealth and position, particularly in the squeeze between the two dominant cultures? Interestingly, He did not dive into cultural retention programs, trying to preserve the goods of the past. Rather, he taught the crowds to value poverty, humility, mercy, peacemaking through his Sermon on the Mount . How did Jesus respond to the hungry, the homeless and the marginalized crowds of people not only in the cities but throughout the Judean countryside? Instead of developing social organizations and systems, he showed people how to welcome each other without judgment and to find their food ultimately in the Word of God. Am I willing to consider what Jesus would do in any and all circumstances, and to grow into his likeness day by day, hour by hour? Holy Spirit of God, conform me to the likeness of your Son.
My heart shall rejoice in your salvation, O Lord. I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13:3-4)
Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.
Saint John Paul II
Soli ad gloriam
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Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.