Daily Reflection for Thursday, July 08, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:
Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time | USCCB
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Genesis 44:18-21, 23b-29; 45:1-5
Gospel: Matthew 10:7-15
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Mt 10:14
I’ve recently met and had substantial interaction with a person whose gender identity is non-binary. This means that this person doesn’t identify as exclusively male or female and their choice of “they” and “them” pronouns match this identification. Outside of the psychiatric realm, it has forced me to name my annoyance and frustration with these gender issues and, yes, face my discomfort and prejudice toward those who struggle with them.
My interactions with this person have invited me to think specifically about the dual aspect of evangelization toward those I’d just as soon ignore so as to avoid disagreements or uncomfortable exchanges. Inwardly, we are called to nurture and renew our own conversion. Outwardly, our charge is “to proclaim the Gospel to all people; to help bring about the reconversion of those who have received the Gospel but live it only nominally; and to deepen the Gospel in the lives of believers radiating the love of Jesus by the everyday way we speak, think, and act.” *
Evangelization in any form should begin with a contagiousness of the satisfaction in being a friend of Jesus Christ. This will naturally lead to a desire to live the exuberant longing for Him rooted in the hunger that only the infinite love of God will satisfy. What happens when one’s desire to be a friend of Jesus isn’t matched by their speaking, thinking, or acting approach to all of God’s children?
Much like with the person mentioned above, it is not uncommon for me to anticipate interactions with others whose views and lifestyles I fail both to comprehend or agree with. This anticipation invites me to shake the dust from my feet and dissociate before even attempting to engage. Despite sin, failure, inadequacies and, yes, gender identity struggles, if the unconditional love of God is what I both receive and espouse, judgment and sole focus on moral law impede any effort to engage and “see” them as God does: made in His image and likeness. Like the Gospel reading reminder for today, a greeting of peace and invitation to relationship is always much more evangelically compelling.
In what scenarios might you possibly have shaken the dust from your feet prematurely?
* What is Evangelization? - Go and Make Disciples | USCCB