Sunday, August 2, 2015

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life." These words should be in the back of our minds every time we seek to do right by our brothers and sisters. Yes, we must eat and drink to stay alive. And yes, we must make our cultures and societies more just and merciful to keep us all well. None of this, however, is what we truly need. We need to experience grace. And we need to recognize one another as family. But this latter need cannot be fulfilled through our default mechanics of law and politics. Family cannot be mandated or regulated. No, we must choose to have empathy for those siblings who have done us wrong. And then we must choose to love them.

I write these words with recent headlines in mind. Abortion videos. Police misconduct. Trophy hunts for lions, tigers, and bears. Children growing up in seedy motels. Oh my indeed. There is no shortage of evil in this world, and we must do our best to fight it. But we must never be under the illusion that we can fix it. We are called to be the kingdom, not to build one. Sometimes, oftentimes, this will not feel like enough, but it is. Faith, hope, and love are always enough, if we choose them.