Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our lives must give birth to Jesus’ presence in our world

"Mary can be called blessed around the world because she looks familiar to every culture and society and race and nationality. Yet, Mary’s mission and message remain firmly focused on the Lord. The challenge for us is to do the same: to be open and to accept every culture and race, even within our own society and nation and neighbourhood. Jesus' command is exact: “Do for others just what you want them to do for you” (Lk. 6:31). Jesus never promises that we will always like what we have to do for others; sometimes it may be difficult, unpleasant, or inconvenient. Jesus addresses the way we desire to be treated when we need something done for us. But he also highlights the implications of our treatment of others: “Whatever you did to one of the least of these, you did to me... Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (Mt. 25:40,45).

To the degree that we can adapt, we become people for the world, we bring Jesus to the world. Our adaptability will be most evident in our daily lives and work. It is relatively easy to be sensitive to the plight of other people and cultures as we see their struggle on television or read it in the newspapers. The true challenge of adaptability is to have that same sensitivity toward the people we encounter every day. Adapting and adjusting to family members, friends, co-workers provide us with ample opportunities to confirm or compromise the integrity of our spiritual journey. The prejudices with which we can classify all members of a particular group or age or race, or the many “isms” with which we can categorize people and strip them of individuality and even dignity, diminish our capacity for sensitivity and adaptability.

Mary had the unique privilege to become the Mother of God, to give birth to Jesus, to be the means by which God became part of our world. Our lives must give birth to Jesus’ presence in our world; our actions must continue his mission. We must live the example of Jesus among others. Then we will be people who adapt, people for the world. Then we, too, can be called blessed."

-- Learning from Mary in her own words: wisdom for the spiritual journey by Joel Giallanza, csc

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