In our hyper divided nation where people get so angry at their opponents or even people on the street or grocery line, the below daily reflection, really struck a chord with me. The human reaction to our enemies or opponents is to get even, or to destroy them in some way, but God’s way is to heal, and forgive, to bring our enemies into the fold. The apostles were not so different from us. When they wanted to pass through a Samaritan town, and the Samaritans refused to give the disciples entrance to pass through, one of Jesus’ disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven to smite the Samaritans. Jesus told them to hold off. Jesus had a different plan in mind for them.
The story made me thing of today’s culture. How often do we react this same way? I could easily see myself reacting the same way as the disciples did. How quickly we react with our human instincts to rebel, fight back, or try to “get even” with those who oppose us. Rather God calls us to pray for our enemies and treat them as we would a fellow Christian or family member. No one is lost in God’s eyes, even though from our perspective our enemies seem like a lost cause.
The scripture below comes to mind.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55: 8-9)
The below story CLEARLY demonstrates this and it gives me pause to consider how quickly we can all be to act with our human instincts rather than to operate by God’s grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit to be God’s hands and feet in this divided world.
“The Lord God said: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.’ ” —Genesis 2:18
The first spoken words in the Holy Bible from man are about the topic of marriage. Adam rejoices that he has been given his beloved wife Eve: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gn 2:23). The last time a human speaks in the Bible is likewise a word of rejoicing about a marriage: the Bride, that is, the Church, together with the Holy Spirit say, “Come!” (Rv 22:17) The bride rejoices that she and her spouse are united in marriage. The Scriptures between the beginning marriage and the ending marriage are all interconnected in the ardent love of God for mankind and the human longing for union with the Lord. The entire Bible is sandwiched between two shouts of married joy (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1602).
Spend some quiet time in prayer before a crucifix today — at church, at home, or even outside. Meditate on Jesus’ words, “I thirst”. Jesus was experiencing the excruciating discomfort of a man dying a violent death — and the deep spiritual yearning for a connection with each of us. Your presence, your time with Christ crucified, is a response to his thirst.
Jesus, as I venerate your cross today, I imagine your arms outstretched, a sign of your great love for me ad for all people You have given yourself completely, perfectly. It is finished. Give me the grace to love you and others with this perfect love.
“Jesus, the Master Psychologist” by Dr. Ray Guarendi – Faith In Action co-hosts, Jim Ganley and Brigid Ayer talk with their guest, Dr. Ray Guarendi, leading Catholic Psychologist, family counselor, and radio host of “The Doctor is In”, about his new book, Jesus, the Master Psychologist, and how to deal with everyday issues. To connect with Dr. Ray, you can find him at www.drray.com
Drawing Close to the Holy Spirit – On this segment of Faith in Action, co-hosts Jim Ganley and Brigid Ayer is Sister Mary Ann Fatula, O.P. author of “Drawing Close to the Hoy Spirit”. She shares the important role of the Holy Spirit in our lives and how we can connect or reactivate the third person of the Trinity in our everyday lives. For details about the book click here