"Thinking the best of other people" is necessary if we wish to grow in love.
Today we began reading from the twelfth chapter of the Book of Genesis. Actually it is the beginning of the story of our salvation. All that had gone before in Genesis, the story of Adam and Eve, the Tower of Babel, the flood, all of that was a prelude which painted the picture of the need for salvation. In a sense the first eleven chapters set the stage for the beautiful story of salvation which begins with Abraham, who was first called Abram.
God gave Abraham the gift of faith to embrace him as the one God, the creator of the heavens and the earth. God set him apart for a purpose, to be the father of a people whom God would favor with his revelation. This people, despite their weakness and their many failures, preserved the faith and handed it down.
Faith is not an abstraction, floating somehow in the air to be absorbed by a kind of spiritual osmosis by anyone who comes into contact with it. Faith is found within the lives of people. With the Hebrews it became a living tradition which was handed down from one generation to another. Even when that faith became a written record in the biblical books, it found life and vitality only in people who lived according to the message of the books.
In the Responsorial Psalm: We acclaim; blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. Blessed the nation, heaven looks down on all peoples!
God's revelation and his plan... All humankind's history is in the hands of the Lord. The Lord's victory will in the end be humankind's victory and the victory of every nation that puts its trust in him. His plans are the beginning on earth of a blissful eternity... Our Salvation!
Today in the Gospel: Jesus said "Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
"Thinking the best of other people" is necessary if we wish to grow in love. And kindliness in judgment is nothing less that a sacred duty. It is easier to find fault in others than in oneself. Jesus states a heavenly principle we can stake our lives on. What you give to others (and how you treat others) will return to you. Jesus knows our faults and He sees all, even the imperfections and sins of the heart which we cannot recognize in ourselves. Like a gentle father and skillful doctor He patiently draws us to His seat of mercy and removes the cancer of sin which inhabits our hearts. May we also trust in God's mercy and grace to bring us to our salvation.
We pray in the first Eucharistic prayer that refers to Abraham as "our father in faith." He is such because he is the father of a people, God's people. We are their descendants in the faith. In the words of Pope Pius XI, 'We are all spiritually Semites."
Today let us also give praise and thanks to God for what he has accomplished through his servant, Abraham. The story which began with the call of Abraham is our story. We are part of God's plan to form a people for Himself, a people of faith.