Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday of the Second Week
Community holds a special place in my heart because I believe that we were never meant to stand alone. A tree is not meant to grow in solitude—growing old alone in a field, the branches will sag towards the ground and the roots will search for hold. Without the strength of the forest, the tree will struggle much more than it will thrive. In all times, what we search for is support and acceptance. In the first reading, Jeremiah is betrayed by his community, who want to indict him for heresy though he has shown them nothing but compassion by praying for their forgiveness from God.  Jeremiah has no support here, no friend who would stop others from spreading rumors. Instead of following the love of God, his community has chosen to stand against him, effectively labeling him as an “other.” 
We can see this “otherness” happening everywhere in our world. It happens when we don’t see each other as human beings, as full individuals who are as much capable of love as you or I. It can be hard to bridge the differences we see between each other. Race, religion, gender, political views—these can all lead us to dismiss the other, to reject the possibility of creating a community of love and acceptance that can support us all in the journey of life. I find that I often need to remind myself to not harden my heart against those I would consider “others,” and that instead I should speak on their behalf, as Jeremiah did to God.  Only through this have I learned that my community can be as big as I want, and as whole and complete as God’s creation.
Loving God, I pray that I encounter each person with love and an open heart. I pray that the lines that separate us all can dissipate, and that together we can understand, forgive, and find peace. 
Erin Buckley, ’17 
First Reading: Jeremiah 18:18-20
Psalm 31:5-6, 14-16
Gospel: Matthew 20:17-28

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

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