Daily Reflection
December 30th, 2005

Eileen Wirth

Journalism Department
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Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-27
Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40

“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, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.”

As I write this, my right arm is in a plaster cast from hand to elbow and it’s a real drag. I can’t move at my customary pace and I feel weighted down – sort of like a heart that is weighted down with grievances feels this time of year. It’s hard to bask in the joy of the season when today’s beautiful first reading makes you feel guilty rather than inspired.

It’s easy to be a Christian when everything is rosy – no battles with anyone of consequence – but much harder when you are locked in a disagreement that can’t be as easily resolved. We’ve all been there and will be there again and again. Maybe it’s a family situation or a boss who makes you nuts.

I find it hard to try to view the world from the perspective of an opponent – especially when it feels that justice is on my side of a significant disagreement. I’m guessing that a lot of readers share this dilemma.

What are we obligated to do? Must we just give in to everyone who disagrees with us or seeks to take advantage of us? I don’t think that this is what Paul means here.

Perhaps he is telling us to stop enjoying feeling aggrieved. Perhaps he is saying to go the extra mile to try to understand and be generous in negotiating a settlement to our differences. Maybe he is saying try to love those with whom we are at odds without necessarily giving in to their demands. Maybe we can at least pray for those with whom we are at odds or try to focus on their strong points.

If we can manage to do these things, maybe we will start to feel the peace of Christ fill our hearts as they break out of their plaster casts.

Have a happy and blessed New Year!

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