Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 31, 2016
“Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.”
Psalm 90: 14 (Responsorial Psalm)
Today I ask God to fill me with kindness—simple kindness. Wouldn’t we all do well to make the words of the psalmist our own as we try to heal and be healed from the violence and tragic loss of life in our world, our country, our cities, and our neighborhoods? Are we to be condemned to return to our respective corners and wait for the next eruption? “Think of what is above” St. Paul writes. Surely it is kindness that we hunger for: understanding instead of judgement, communion rather than discord. Today’s Gospel teaches us that dying to vanity and ego can lead us from foolishness to wisdom. But “how long, Lord?” How long will it take for us to turn from violence to peace, from injustice to justice, from death to life? How long?
Perhaps if we begin by addressing the violence in our own hearts, by being painfully honest with ourselves, we might ready our hearts to be filled with kindness. Maybe if we could turn our less-than-admirable “filters” off; to suspend distrust just long enough to see ourselves in each other regardless of race, language, economic or legal status, gender, sexual orientation—maybe then would we have a chance to allow God’s kindness to fill us.
So I place this question before myself in the hope that kindness will dwell in my heart: “Can I give enough of myself to be you?” We have a Savior who did just that.
Merciful God free us from violence and plant in us a desire for peace,
for you are peace itself.
Fill us each day with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. Amen.