Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Faith Working through Love

Faith Working through Love 

October 16, 2012
Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

By  Beth DeCristofaro

For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.  (Galatians 5:6)

Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?  (Luke 11:40)


Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.  And I will delight in your commands, which I love.  (Psalm 114:47)


Once, riding the train to New York, I was in the quiet car when I got a phone call!!!  Not allowed, right?  But I answered, whispering because it was an important call, to say "I will call you later, can't talk now."  Well, a fellow traveler objected very strongly, complaining even more loudly (I thought) to my brief call than my call had been.  She was rude even as I apologized.  Interestingly, as I was on the train again this weekend, that encounter came to mind.  I found myself running the old tape of how rude and over the top that woman had been even if I was in the wrong... I recognized that I was still bothered and yes, self righteously indignant.   Hmmm, did I really even forgive her?  Did I forgive myself for breaking a rule or just brush it off as being  such a small infraction no one else should have minded?

Jesus' words, therefore, struck me personally as I realized that it is what is within me that still upsets me.  My perhaps reasonable anger at the time is not reasonable years later.  I did not cleanse the cup inside.  And how often do I do that?  How often do I hold onto old hurts, slights or oversights which later impact other interactions?  Where is my faith working through love if I let acceptable "rituals", expectations, pride govern my relationships rather than the openness of a clean cup filled with the Spirit of God?  What do I gain from this?  Where is God's glory shown to the world if I act like this?


If I am honest with myself, do I hold others to standards that I let slide for myself just a little?  Or are my standards for others or myself based in some priority other than faith working through love?  Letting the words "faith working through love" be a mantra for me today, I will deliberately be open to Jesus' voice in my ear guiding me to see Jesus and invoke Jesus' love with everyone I meet.

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