Joshua 3:7-17; PS 114 Alleluia; Matt 18:21-19:1
Several things to reflect on front his mornings readings.
The title given to God by Joshua in our first reading is striking, "The LORD of the whole earth."
Think about that title as yo drive around today. As you go from place to place as your eyes scan the horizon or stand in awe of the beauty that unfolds before you repeat that phrase that stands as the title of God for Joshua and the Israelites, "The LORD of the whole earth."
All that we see and all that we experience in life is under the providential care of God. It should change how we receive the gift of this planet and how we mange it and embrace it. St Francis understood this more than anyone.
Pope Francis brings this to mind in his Encyclical when he states the following, "the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God's creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet."
He goes on to state,"If we approach nature and the environment without this openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs. By contras, if we feel intimately united with all that exist, then sobriety and care will well up spontaneously…"
Nature is a magnificent book in which god speaks to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness. The Lord of the whole earth, in deed.
Secondly, our psalm refrain of this morning is "Alleluia." It represents the essence of communal life which is communal praise to God. Alleluia simply means, "praise God." As we look around and behold the world and all that it contains, we have been given plenty to initiate praise in our hearts for God. Alleluia should be continually pressed upon our lips and more importantly set the tone for how we live with and for one another.
Lastly, as we turn toward the gospel for today. Peter, once again the spokesman for the twelve, wants to explore the limits of patience, charity and forgiveness. Like all of us, we wonder when can we say enough is enough.
Jesus reminds us that our life must mirror the life and action of God who shows us unlimited forgiveness, patience and love. Yet, for love to be genuine it can never enable bad behavior. God continually desires our conversion. His love and forgiveness unlimitedly offered is always for the purpose of helping us become the best version of our selves.
Enabling is never part of the equation.
The one verse in todays gospel that is always striking to me is the following, "Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair."
The fellow servants, the other members of the community, observing misbehavior did not stand idly by and turn a blind eye and just let it happened. No! They immediately did something about it. They went to the proper authority to make sure bad behavior was dealt with so as to ensure peace and harmony for the whole. Too often we turn a blind eye and do nothing. This is never what God ask of us in Christ. We too must be willingly to speak up against harmful actions and hurtful realities.
Forgiveness and patience and charity never just let evil happen. It involves the courage to recognize in order to bring about the possibility of conversion for the betterment of the whole.
Pax et Bonum