Daily Reflection
February 24th, 2006

Eileen Wirth

Journalism Department
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James 5:9-12
Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8-9, 11-12
Mark 10:1-12

“The Lord is kind and merciful.”

This line from today’s Psalm is one of my favorites in Scripture, especially when juxtaposed with the first sentence of today’s first reading. “Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another, that you may not be judged. Behold the Judge is standing before the gates.”

Mentally I go back about 10 years to when my children were teen-agers and I survived by complaining about them to two dear friends who shared the same frustrations and pressures.

One friend and I met every Tuesday for “sanity breakfast” while the other and I met for a weekend workout at the gym. The breakfasts followed a format. Whichever of us had had the worse week got to recite her litany of complaints first while the other gave sisterly affirmation. Then we swapped roles before walking out to “pick up our crosses.” The walks in the gym followed much the same pattern. My gym friend and I still meet at least weekly and we vent frustrations about our respective students in addition to airing occasional complaints about our now-grown children and spouses. We scheduled these activities into our jam-packed schedules as religiously as any business meeting. They were our lifelines.

Was the Lord listening in as we complained about our kids over coffee or griped about our spouses as we walked laps around the gym? No doubt. But I believe that “the Lord is kind and merciful” and will forgive – if forgiveness is even necessary.

I can still recall the relief with which I would drive away from “sanity breakfast” and the gym. They allowed me to go on loving – the real message of today’s first reading. Besides, if the” kind and merciful Lord” has any questions, I’ll urge him to talk with His mother. I’m sure SHE gets it!

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