A worldwide human family that reflects love and harmony…
…is only possible if I open my heart today and treat myself and all people with compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness. It is only possible when I stop comparing myself to others and follow the Way of unconditional love.
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. Colossians 3:12-13a
Listen to the Word. Sit with holy Scripture. You will be astounded to find the understanding you crave, the answers you seek.
After three days they found [Jesus] in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. Luke 2:46-47
Rembrandt (1606-1669) Simeon in the Temple oil on panel, 1627-1628 Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38
God’s Holy Family encompasses every human person—from infants to the elderly. We are all equally important in the eyes and heart of God. We all have something to offer to others. No matter what our age, we are all called to open our minds, eyes, and hearts to encounter the Lord every day.
The Flight into Egypt Attributed to Rembrandt, via Wikimedia Commons
Take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you. Sirach 3:12-14
He is so fragile, my father, and every day getting physically smaller as his Spirit outgrows his frail body.
He doesn’t know us any more, but his smile is as sweet as ever and lights up his eyes. “I love you,” he says over and over. He hasn’t lost the inner wisdom that still knows how to “put on love, the bond of perfection.”