Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Live as He Lived

So, in glancing at the First Reading from today's liturgy, which comes from the first epistle of John chapter two, I had an interesting thought about faith and how we live. The verses I'm thinking about advise:

But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him. 
This is the way we may know that we are in union with him:
whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked

And, I have to say, not meaning to offend but merely to ponder, that in the contemporary world, especially American society, we seem to have many more "pharisees" than we do disciples, and it seems that these people of implied superior sanctity have potentially turned attendance at services and the reading and study of scripture into their own version of the golden calf. Does that sound strange, that the actions of the service and the reading of the Word could actually become a sort of false idol, so to speak? I don't think so. The public profession of faith and the practice of the service would seem to me to ring a bit hollow if we did not act in accordance with the model, for "This is how we know we are in him; whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did."

Now, of course this observation is obviously influenced by the Catholic school kid in me -- the idea that actions matter and that actions are the ministry we are called to. And, I have to say, I don't see enough of that ministry in the world today, nor granted, do I exhibit it enough myself. For it is written "anyone who hates a brother or sister is in darkness." And there is no shortage of darkness going around these day. It's worth noting a little further into the epistle is one of my favorite and to me perhaps the most important of verses:  "God is love." Yep, that pretty much says it all - love, compassion, empathy, charity, and service. But above all love.

So, while this post is a definitely a departure from my usual fare on this blog, these thoughts were on my mind, and so I thought I'd share. 

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