TENDER SIDE OF LIFE
In today's Responsorial Psalm we acclaim, "The Lord upholds my life" (Ps 54:6b). God is the One Who saves us. He is our Helper; the One Who sustains our lives. God's name resounds in the name of everyone on earth and is blessed every time a child is baptized. All creation pronounces God's name because all creation comes from God and returns to God.
In St. James' Letter for this Sunday, James gets right to the bottom line and the problem of judging others. He says, "Where jealously and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice" (Jas 3:16). When we judge others, frequently the problem is ours: we are jealous and selfishly ambitious. True wisdom, on the other hand, comes from above. It is pure, peaceable, and gentle, works together well, and is full of mercy and good fruits. It is there for the asking but we need to ask humbly and with truth in our hearts. It brings us to the tender side of life.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus Christ is teaching the disciples what will happen to Him, but they do not understand and are afraid to question Him. Instead they discuss among themselves who is the greatest among them. Jesus must have been thinking that after all this time they still don't get it! We need to put it simply. Jesus' Church does not consist of the great and the powerful. Jesus Christ's Church includes the needy, the poor, and those who have no value in the eyes of others. In His Church greatness is not important. For Him what is important is the service we, as disciples, give to those in need.
Let us ask, "How can we imitate Christ?" We hunger to enter real discipleship when, like Jesus, we have as our motivation the desire to draw all things into one - into one unity of heart and one family of love. St. John of the Cross helps us with this. We should begin, by reading Scripture and meditating on the life of Jesus. Then we should pray to Him and ask Him to instill in us His desire, longing, and motivation. In essence, we should pray to Jesus and ask Him to make us feel the way He felt while He was on earth.
Our prayer for reflection today is, "Teach us Jesus and show us Your most tender side. Help us in our prayer to visualize You as the Good Shepherd holding the lamb in Your arms."
Think about your own service of those in need today!