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Browsing Reflections Archive

June 23, 2020

Daily Reflection for Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to read Tuesday’s readings at the following link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the references are:
First Reading:  2Kings 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36
Responsorial:  Psalm 48:2-4, 10-11
Gospel:  Matthew 7:6, 12-14

Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
Jesus said, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12)

I see the wisdom here . . . and how it parallels Jesus’ teaching to love others as I love myself.  Yet I sometimes stumble in following the Golden Rule.  What makes us vulnerable to ignoring God’s Word and other’s needs?  I recall that a study of the subject concluded that there was one common trait: “a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow man.”  Evil behavior begins with an absence of empathy.

Empathy also fosters the serving of others.  When I empathize with you, I see beneath appearances and behavior.  You are the baby who yawned and smiled – who nursed and had dirty diapers.  You are the child who saw a world through eyes filled with wonder, or fear.  You are a lifelong accumulation of hopes, triumphs, and hurts.  As I try to see the world through your eyes, I can almost sense your emotions, joy, and pain.  Empathy opens my heart to love, compassion . . . to living according to the Golden Rule.

My ability to experience true empathy grew significantly during small-group sharing – in RCIA, Christ Renews His Parish, and Small Church Communities.  But a quantum leap in understanding others was triggered by my growth in self-understanding . . . “How did I get here?”

As I’ve grown in self-understanding – and recognizing my demons – I’ve also grown in realizing that everyone has their own demons.  I sense many patterns of human development.  I’m also more aware of how easy it is to misjudge people . . . including myself.

Jesus shared God’s ability to empathize with people.  He understood how each of them got to where they were.  His empathy facilitated his unconditional love.

Today, how can I try to be just a little more like Jesus and grow in empathy for myself and others?

Peace, my friends . . . I love you,
Bill Bradbury


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