Daily Reflection for Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 2 Kings 19:9-11, 14-21, 31-36
Responsorial: Psalm 48: 2-4, 10-11
Gospel: Matthew 7:6, 12-14
Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets.
A fable common to many cultures* tells the story of an old man who lived with his adult son, his daughter-in-law, and young grandson. The old man’s shaky hands and failing eyesight made eating difficult and he often spilled his food. In frustration, the family banished him from the family dinner table. Because he had broken several dishes, he ate his meals from a wooden bowl while sitting alone at a small table in the kitchen corner. When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. One day the father observed his young son working on a piece of wood. Curious, he asked the boy what he was making. "I am making a little bowl," answered the child, "for you and mother to eat out of when you are very old." The man and his wife looked at each other and wept. They took the old grandfather to the table and thereafter always let him eat with them, heedless of any spills.
In today’s gospel we read Jesus’ version of the Golden Rule, a prescription for living which exists across many cultures and faiths. Jesus says: Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. He adds weight by saying: This is the Law and the Prophets. In other words, this is fundamental, not optional.
The teaching is so clear, so simple, so essential. That makes me wonder why I fail at it so often. Probably too much preoccupation with my own timetable and agenda blinds me to those I encounter every day.
I think about service people like grocery clerks and repairmen. How might it change the encounter if I took a moment to notice that person and make a human connection?
And what about the panhandlers at busy intersections who I routinely ignore? I have a friend who keeps a supply of $5 bills in his car and doles them out when it’s safe to do so. I’m aware of arguments against enabling substance abusers but I’m wondering if there might be a counterargument in favor of making a human connection?
What about the suffering people I read about in the news? For example, the millions of displaced Ukrainians who fled their homes and have no homes to return to? What help might I wish for if I were in their situations?
These are our brothers and sisters. Where is God asking you and me to imagine more deeply the suffering of these brothers and sisters and to Do to others whatever you would have them do to you?
Wishing you God’s blessing,
*The Grimm Brothers’ “The Old Man and His Grandson”; Leo Tolstoy’s “The Old Grandfather and the Grandson”; Ramona Winner’s The Wooden Bowl.