I chose S. Kathleen’s and my Easter reflection reading by opening my Living Faith book and stabbing down my finger to a page at random. That page was March 27th. Wow, heavy stuff! Revenge, shame, vengeance and wanting to see the Lord get even on our behalf for the pain others have inflicted upon us.
What happened to ‘turning the other cheek’, ‘loving others, no matter who or how they are’, ‘forgiveness always’, and all that sort of thing?
“But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion”. These words from Jeremiah come in the midst of a passage from Chapter 20 in which the prophet describes the life around him. As mentioned in this passage, the description he gives echoes the situation in much of our world today.
On this Friday of the 5th week of Lent, we are reminded that in the past, as today, prayer does not always remove the dangers, but we walk the scary moments with our God. The psalm for today reassures us in the midst of the pain, “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and He heard my voice”.
Yes, we call out to the Lord, our champion, and hope that He hears us. He gives us the strength to resist the temptation to ‘get even’. Dislike and contempt takes so much less effort than love – it’s the easy, ‘human’ way out of having to deal with finding that emotion within us that allows us to think ‘I know there’s something about you that I like, I just need to figure out what it is’. This is hard to do sometimes.
As we approach this fresh, new Easter season of rebirth and new life, could we all try to find one positive thing to admire, like, or respect in those people we encounter who may ‘rub us the wrong way’, maybe for no reason at all? It’s what God commands of us.