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November 24, 2020

Daily Reflection for Tuesday, November 24, 2020
 
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112420.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading:  Revelation 14:14-19
Responsorial Psalm:  Psalm 96:10, 11, 12, 13
Gospel:  Luke 21:5-11

Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:

"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues . . ."  (Luke 21:10-11). 

While Jesus' words apply to all generations, they sound especially timely this year.  Bad things seem to be occurring with what appears to be a degree of inevitably. Some are caused by us, some by the nature of our planet. 

Because of technology, we know what is happening everywhere. This amplifies both our inter-connections and our divisions.  I am moved by the images, and I find myself caring deeply about the victims in all of these events.  Sometimes it just feels like too much.  My "heart" is more suited to focusing its love on the people I know well and with whom I have interpersonal relationships.

But I know that God wants more than that from me.  The Ten Commandments and Jesus tell us how to live and how to put our lives in order:  to Love God and each other, to be respectful, and to be kind to each other.  I believe another word that fits with that list is trust.  Relationships don't work well without trust.  And without trust, we can’t begin to love one another in the spirit prescribed by Jesus.

While sorting through old notes recently, I found two quotations that encapsulate my thoughts on "trust and love."  The first, by Robert Brault, said:  "You can as easily love without trusting as you can hug without embracing."  The second is from the late columnist Charles Krauthammer:  "Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassinations of nearly every political practitioner in the country -- and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians."

We can’t love people whom we can’t trust. And we easily destroy our ability to trust others with gossip, lies, false witness, suspicion, or even a simple assumption that "the other person" is unworthy, or evil.  Whether neighbors, parishioners, citizenry or family member, we can undermine our ability to trust or love others.

As I read today's Gospel and those quotations, I recognized within myself that I must choose trust in order for love to grow in a relationship with God and my fellow human beings.  I must assume good intent before I assume ill will from others, or vengeance from God.  I can’t love if I can’t trust . . . and I can’t trust if I can’t be humble myself.

As we near our day of Thanksgiving for the blessings we’ve received from God, may this be an opportunity to renew our efforts to love one another through trust.  In a time of hurricanes, pandemic, and international turmoil, our abilities to trust and love might be the most important blessings of all.

Peace, my friends,
Bill Bradbury

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