Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Still More Excellent Way

By Beth DeCristofaro

The word of the LORD came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you … They will fight against you but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.  (Jeremiah 1:4, 19)

Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. (1 Corinthians 12:31, 13:1)

(Jesus said) Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away. (Luke 4:27-30)

Grant us, Lord our God that we may honor you with all our mind, and love everyone in truth of heart.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, you Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. (Collect of the Mass of the Day)

Jesus’ fellow citizens did not appreciate his message but the Word is stronger than human perception, prejudice or shortsightedness.  Mohandas Gandhi, a Hindu, appreciated the message.  He said “Living Christ means a living Cross; without it life is a living death.” His life demonstrated the message of living love, emulating Jesus’ redemptive suffering.  As an activist against oppressive British rule in India, “he approached each campaign (of nonviolent resistance) as an ‘experiment in truth,’ an effort to realize God’s will on earth” In Gandhi God worked through a Gentile to model Christ’s “still more excellent” way.[i]

We live in such a violent culture.  Do we not hear as Jesus’ neighbors did not hear?  Are we prone to go with the crowd rather than persist and search the still more excellent way of love?  Read Church positions on violence in order to preach with action Jesus’ way of love, Jesus’ “still more excellent way” in your community.

[i] Give Us this Day: Daily Prayer for Today’s Catholic, Liturgical Press, January 2016, p. 308.

1 comment:

Mary Beth Harney said...

Thank you for this meditation. Your words have given me much to reflect upon.

Mary Beth Harney