By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13: 35
Such good news from the Synod report today! It is good when Christians acknowledge the intrinsic worth and goodness of all their brothers and sisters, without regard to their marriage status or sexual preferences, etc. but recognizing that all people have “gifts and qualities to offer.” And this is in line with what Pope Francis said earlier, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners. And we are all sinners, and cannot judge one another. There is a wise saying in Buddhism, that I should never attack another person, because I cannot know if he is not further along the path to enlightenment than I am. We can all learn from each other and benefit from others’ gifts.
And we are here to serve each other, offering Christ’s love to each other. I especially loved the paragraph that spoke to this need to minister to one another:
Imitating Jesus’ merciful gaze, the Church must accompany her most fragile sons and daughters, marked by wounded and lost love, with attention and care, restoring trust and hope to them like the light of a beacon in a port, or a torch carried among the people to light the way for those who are lost or find themselves in the midst of the storm.
So, I’m thrilled that my adoptive Church is taking this step to implement Pope Francis’ call for us to be servants to all! “Evangelizing means bearing personal witness to the love of God, it is overcoming our selfishness, it is serving by bending down to wash the feet of our brethren, as Jesus did.” We are called to humble ourselves, to love others and be kind to our fellow travelers in this earthly pilgrimage and pray for each other, and not to presume to know where someone else stands in their relationship with God. We are all sheep; none of us is the Shepherd.
“Be free, yet without using freedom as a pretext for evil, but as slaves of God.” 1 Peter 2: 16
Paradoxically, it is in this serving others, and serving God through serving others, that we find real freedom. Be blessed in answering God’s call!