Dilip V Nerlikar The fisherman active in Vengurla, Maharshtra, India, 2017
And Jesus replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” Matthew 13:52
Every day I cast a net of discernment. It captures thought patterns, behaviors, and habits that prevent me from caring for those in need, forgiving those who have hurt me, and treating all people with respect and dignity. I sort through old fears, resentments, and wounds. I ask the Lord to remove all the hindrances to love and to strengthen everything in me that is generous, kind, and compassionate.
And Jesus spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow.” Matthew 13:3
The soil of my heart varies day to day, sometimes moment to moment. Sometimes I don’t understand the Word of God and don’t take the time to study and meditate on it. Sometimes pain and fear of others’ disapproval prevent me from believing in and speaking the Word of God’s presence and love and forgiveness. Sometimes financial hardship and job worries and the heartbreak of racist acts and abuse and human trafficking consume my thoughts and I have no energy to trust that God is in charge and has a vision of love and peace for the world.
And sometimes my heart is soft and open and ready to receive the Good News of God’s compassion, forgiveness, and mercy. Then I am able to love my neighbor and do good to those who hurt me. Then I bear the rich fruit of peace and nonviolence. Then I treat all human persons with respect and kindness.
James Tissot (1836-1902) Jésus tenté dans le désert gouache over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.” Matthew 4:8-10
Here is a glimpse into the nonviolent nature of Jesus. He listens to the devil’s words without judgment, but, with calm authority, refuses to participate in the devil’s campaign for power.
Jesus’ command of the scriptures and knowledge of the nature of God form his responses and become teaching moments — in which, without aggression, he offers the devil the possibility of conversion.
Lord, teach me your Way of nonviolence that I may serve God in love and justice.