Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6: 67-68
I’ve heard “love thy neighbor as thyself” and “forgive seventy times seven times” and “Peace be with you”—words of eternal life spoken by Jesus.
How can I turn away without betraying my birthright as a child of God made in the image and likeness of God’s love?
I want to ask you something if I may. I have been thinking a lot about this reading. “Words of eternal life.” I thought, how many times in my life, have I not given “words of eternal life to others.” Maybe my words were not “compassionate words.” There are times they are “very angry words.” I hope you get the picture.
Anyways, in these moments of our lives, especially when someone else’s words hurt us so badly, how do we give “words of eternal life” back to them? Thanks for the time again! God Bless, SR
What a good reflection, SR! How do my words give life?
I think it’s important to remember that our daily hope and challenge is to imitate Jesus, who has the words of eternal life, not be Jesus. In other words, I will never be perfect.
That said, if my words wound instead of give life, I can make amends – either by apologizing or changing my behavior. If someone else’s words wound me, I can practice awareness and pray before responding – or not respond at all. Someone wise once said, “If you can’t let it go, communicate about it.”
As I learn to forgive myself for being human, I learn to look on others with more compassion. We are all doing the best we can; we all want to be encouraged and loved and accepted with all our human flaws.
“I will not be perfect.” That is a “comforting” lesson to learn and keep with us. You know Mary, my problem with this is, I have such a “reactive” personality. I think a lot of it stems from the family I came from. Not that I did not have a wonderful family, but as kids we were always taught to speak, when we had something to say. Even to our parents. Now being that said, we always had to watch the way we spoke, especially to adults! Disrespect to an adult was never tolerated in our home.
The thing about this is though, as we grew older, this became a pattern in life. For all of us kids! We are all extremely verbal, none of us are afraid to fight for what we believe in. We come from pretty strong “stock,” if you know what I mean.
Of course as one grows older and deeper into their faith, one realizes words hurt and at times we must be careful about what we say to others. I can manage this mostly, it is when I am hurt by someone, the “reaction” comes, and a volcano explodes. “Then” I pray and am usually on my knees asking for “forgiveness.”
I hope this makes sense to you. I am taking your words to heart and will start practicing what you said. Thank you and God Bless, SR
Being hurt is no fun – and they say that hurt people hurt people. Thankfully we have the Source to draw on who gives us the power we need to detach from emotional onslaughts and to choose how we respond to those who hurt us.