Here’s the wisdom for this week.
10:22 At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter,
10:23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.
10:24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
10:25 Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me;
10:26 but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.
10:27 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.
10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.
10:29 What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand.
10:30 The Father and I are one.”
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. We never get rid of an enemy by meeting hate with hate; we get rid of an enemy by getting rid of enmity. By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very nature, love creates and builds up. Love transforms with redemptive power.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Source: Strength to Love
We are called to continue to reach out to and love even our enemies. This does not mean that we must love them at close range, however. Sometimes reconciliation requires separation, particularly in abusive or oppressive situations where proximity threatens our very identities in relation to God. But it also requires the struggle to learn to wish enemies well even when we cannot be in their presence and even when they are impenitent, and even when we are appropriately angry. Boundaries are legitimate. Permanent hopeless barriers are not.
L. Gregory Jones
Source: “Forgiveness” in Practicing Our Faith (edited by Dorothy Bass)
When you look at human suffering concretely you destroy all innocence, all neutrality, every attempt to say, “It wasn’t I; there was nothing I could do; I didn’t know.” In the face of suffering you are either with the victim or the executioner—there is no other option.
1. Don’t tell me of a faith that fears
to face the world around;
don’t dull my mind with easy thoughts
of grace without a ground.
Refrain: I need to know that God is real!
I need to know that Christ can feel
the need to touch and love and heal
the world, including me!
2. Don’t speak of piety and prayers
absolved from human need;
don’t talk of spirit without flesh
like harvest without seed.
3. Don’t sate my soul with common sense
distilled from ages past,
inept for those who fear the world’s
about to breathe its last.
4. Don’t set the cross before my eyes
unless you tell the truth
of how the Lord, who finds the lost,
was often found uncouth.
5. So, let the gospel come alive,
in actions plain to see
in imitation of the One
whose love extends to me.
Wild Goose Publications 4th Floor, Savoy House, 140 Sauchiehall Street Glasgow G2 3DH, Scotland