We need to treat all persons with love and respect
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 9, 2018): IS 35:4-7; PS 146:6-7,8-9,9-10; JAS 2:1-5; MK 7:31-37
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Some things have not changed in the two thousand years since Jesus taught His disciples.
We may defer to those who have much and look down a bit on those who have little. People are still held in great regard and have influence because they look and dress the right way, because they have high social and financial standing. We judge the people around us and compare them to ourselves or, perhaps even worse, people we envy. Yet this way of thinking and acting is at odds with Christ’s instructions to His followers. In the letter of James, we read how this favoritism for some people or groups and disregard for others actually makes us “judges with evil designs… Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He promised to those who love Him?” (James 2:4-5)
Whenever we discriminate against others because they are different or seemingly unimportant or in need, we fail to live up to the merciful and generous message of our Savior. Instead, we should make an effort to avoid judging people when there is no legitimate reason to do so. And when there is, let us be guided by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in all relationships with our brothers and sisters. After all, Christ calls us to love all His children, not just the ones we pick and choose.
Suggested missionary action: We can spend time examining the ways we judge others. Do we look down on some and approve others based on appearance or background, or what they believe or say? Let us strive to respect every person we meet and treat them with courtesy.