Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either.” (Golda Meir )

Dear Friends,

Our Scripture this Sunday is filled with deep emotion. Sometimes in our culture being emotional is seen as a sign of weakness at best, or instability at worst. But the things that really move our heart are usually the most real things to us. The challenge with the Book of Nehemiah in the first reading and with Christ in the gospel is to move out of our emotions, real though they are, to courageous and hopeful action.

We necessarily have to see where our hearts are to determine where our mind and will should be moving. In this year of mercy, we are all challenged to a compassion that moves us from feeling to action, from consideration of the other to works of mercy for the other. We need to feel the pain of others, to experience their great need for mercy, in order then to become merciful.

It has been my experience these past months to try to move from an “issue-centered” way of living, which causes anger, worry, fear and sadness that things cannot get better in this crazy world of ours. I want to move to a “person-centered” way of living in which real feelings of compassion for the people involved in all these complex problems can move us to action, in which feelings, powerful though they are, are just the beginning of the solution. Tears then become sweat! Christ shows us the way!

So let us pray for more compassion, to respect everyone from “womb to tomb”, to build a culture of compassion rooted in works of gracious mercy! To cry, and then get to work!

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim