Saturday, February 27, 2010

Learning From Relationships

A reflection based on the first Mass reading from Friday, February 26, 2010 (Ezekiel 18: 21-28) by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.

We heard from the prophet Ezekiel earlier this week, “Thus says the Lord God, if the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him…” (Ezekiel 18: 21) That line, “None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him,” is a challenge for all of us. Very often when people have done something wrong to us, we want justice. We want everyone to know exactly what happened; let’s write it on the walls, a few billboards wouldn’t hurt! We want them to feel what they have done. God however, does not react this way to sin. Ultimately sin is against God; and he’s the one who’s the first to forgive, while we’re the ones who want a little bit of justice in there.

When we have a problem with somebody it’s not necessarily all their fault, but we sure would like to think it was. Every relationship has something to teach us. We’re not always 100 percent right. Therefore we have to have compassion. The “law” can sometimes become an idol for us. Yet we know from St. Benedict that it’s not the law that God looks at, but love. We have to look at our own principles. If everybody has to live by our own principles and we get mad and judge them when they don’t, then our principles have become a little idol. The more we live like that, the more rigid we become, the less we have life.

If we want to grow in our relationship with God, we need to look at our relationships with people and see how we can improve—not our neighbors but ourselves! We spend so much time trying to change our neighbor, and yet from living in community I ‘v learned that if you change yourself then the world about you will change. Change your vision and the world around you will become brighter. We are the ones blocking the sun. But we are also the ones who can be a conduit of the sun if we allow it.

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