Wednesday, January 6, 2010

St. Luke's gospel recounts Jesus' reading at a temple service some words from Isaiah.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tiding to the poor.
He sent me to proclaim liberty to captives,
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free ....
(from Isaiah 61:1-2)

These prophetic words could easily be spoken by each faithful follower of Jesus. The thoughts here continue the theme in the first Letter of St. John. Our charge by our own anointing in the

So prevalent in our culture today is the spirit of competition. What child today does not encounter countless hours of competition via TV sports contests, some "reality" shows and most recently to join the competitive arenas are our politicians, radio, TV and newspaper reporters and pundits.

Is it a surprise when we realize that we live in a nation where so much of what we do is driven by a need to beat down the "enemy" -- not terrorists like Al Quaeda, not like the enemies of our seemingly unending wars since WWII but anyone who speaks thoughts different to me. The love-one-another concept is challenged from sunrise to sunset.

Do these words taken from St. John have any meaning today? "If anyone says 'I love God,' but hates his brother [or sister], he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother [or sister] whom he has seen cannot love God whom he [she} has not seen" (1John4:19).

Loving one another will only become more challenging, more difficult as long as a negative, personally damaging competition continues to gain strength in the hearts of good people.

Another thought: can you remember those "good, old days" when the Eucharist was a significant part of many people' lives? It is the sacrament of unite and love. And is there a relationship between the selfishness associated with many kinds of competition and the diminished participation in the Eucharist? Hmmm! Interesting thought.
Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation: love one another.