In the light of all that is happening in our world and in our society and in our own lives, what are we to do? In the midst of all this, “What would Jesus do?” remains a great question to ask ourselves. Not an easy question for any of us, but definitely an appropriate one. What are we to do in the face of all the national and international experiences of horrific violence and tragedy, of division and confusion, etc.?
What are we to do in the midst of our present election process? What are we to do in the midst of our own personal lives and family situations that often are not simple? It is difficult to know what to do, and yet what better insights may be open to us if we seriously take the time to consider what Jesus would do, what Jesus has done in history and what he seeks to do in our present lives. Jesus remains with us, even, and especially, in the midst of difficult times, trying to lead us to new life. Do we take the time to listen to him or often simply get lost in the busyness and craziness of the circumstances?
In one of our Scripture passages that we share this weekend in our community, Paul calls us to “let go and let God”. He says, “Put on the new self. … there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.” (Colossians 3:1-5, 11-13).
This reading that speaks to us in our liturgies this weekend, seeks to speak to the heart of all people. It is about thinking out of the box of life. It is not about winning, but is about uniting in the Lord who seeks to unite us across all lines of difference and experience, to put on a new self. In this passage, Paul reminds us that we experience a “new” creation in the Lord. And a significant dimension of being part of the family of the Lord is to experience life together in the Lord as one family, even in the midst of our differences.
Paul himself struggled with this truth of Jesus early on in his faith journey as he participated in the persecution of some of the early Christians, who were different than he was used to. And so, Paul does not make light of differences, to be sure. But, he calls us to recognize that the Lord crosses those lines among us and unites us as one people, as he himself came to learn slow but sure. The Lord asks that we be open to this as well. Indeed, how hopeful it is to know we have a Lord who walks with us and seeks to show us the way no matter what.
We truly live in a time of many differences, some of which have led recently to some huge tragic acts of violence and oppression. Some have led others to pull away from community and try to live life on their own only. Some have fallen away from their religious upbringing. Some struggle to let go of past hurts, etc, Some struggle to simply relate to other people. The list can be long of our struggles.
And yet, Jesus continues to model for us a model of love. What would Jesus do in our time? He would continue to love somehow. So, how can we love one another more? Love does not excuse wrong, nor is it naïve, but it is a part of real life. In the midst of all the struggles of our times, let us learn to love more as Jesus did and continues to do. Let us strive to try to learn from the Lord..
“What would Jesus do today?’ Let us let the Lord lead us in these difficult times even more – in the midst of all the many variables of struggle in our times, let us not forget to step back, take a deep breath and seek to listen and to learn from the Lord who shows us the way to love and to find new life.
Fr. John E. Krumm, Pastor of St. Brigid Catholic Church in Xenia and a guest columnist.