What Would Jesus Do?

While we do not hear that question or see that logo on wristbands or bumper stickers as much as we did a few years back, it is still a crucial piece of guidance that God gives us. We are called to do what Jesus would do, did do, teaches, heals, unites and inspires us to do.

As I mentioned last week, we are amidst of several annual ‘weeks of emphasis’ here in late January. We are also hearing ‘our call’ come to us in the Gospel and from the inauguration events in Washington. In short, the call into both ears is ‘to do what Jesus would do.’

It is the “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.” It is the week when we celebrate “Martin Luther King Day”. And it is the week when we are called to “Witness to Life”, to recognize the sanctity of all life and by both prayer and action, to do what Jesus did when he encountered a life being destroyed: stand gently in opposition and call for a change of hearts.

At some level, the hopes, growth, conversion and unity that is the focus of each and all of these ‘weeks’ is rooted on a recognition of the God-given dignity of every human person—and, in fact, of all life.

As Bishop Seitz suggested to us here last week, we forget that we are one family, that God has given us all exactly the same Love and dignity, hope and hungers. And having forgotten our unity (or chosen to ignore that Truth), we allow ourselves or others to brutally break the “Golden Rule’, to do unto our neighbors what we would never accept being done to us or those we do love and care for.

All races are one family. Adherents of every religion, Christian and otherwise, are one. And we are also one with the unborn, the guilty and the weak.

This is what Jesus taught (“OUR Father”, he prayed) and the way he lived, even as it eventually cost him his life, united with us in and through death, to teach us of our unity with one another and with God.

All of this reflecting and reminding led me once again to the words of prayer that have been repeated here several times but are still well worth praying these ‘weeks.’ You may recall they came to us all on a small green bookmark card with an invitation to join in prayer as our Catholic leaders met to discuss the ‘family.’

These words remind and invite us to prayer for the family that includes us all:

Lord God, we thank you for your endless love and compassion.
We are family but we forget too easily this truth, this gift.
Continue to bless us with your Spirit, opening our eyes and hearts to see more clearly our special connectedness to you and to each other.
When we neglect to see the miracle of each other, when we are blinded by selfishness, it is too easy to build walls of hatred or indifference.
Please give us the courage to err on the side of mercy and compassion.
Help us to accept each other as we are.
For we believe we are all growing and moving toward you in our own unique ways; but that you are not finished with us yet.
Give us patience in our daily struggles and bring us closer to each other, for we are one family, each precious, all beloved and gifted in your Love.
Thank you for this great gift you are offering us always in Jesus and the Holy Spirit, forever.

Amen.

The God, who is not finished with us yet, the God who sent Jesus to teach and show us what to do is at work amidst the ongoing pandemic.

Jesus says in several different ways, let those with ears hear, those with eyes see. So, what do you hear and see as we work for, sacrifice for, pray for healing from the fear and disease of COVID 19?

It seems that no one on the planet is safe from the virus, that all are vulnerable. And that each of us is safer when we are all willing to choose actions of caution and concern for one another. It’s what Jesus would do, no? As we endure this hard lesson about our unity as One human family, ya think?

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." (Colossians 3:16)