A reflection based on the Mass readings for June 17, 2010 (Sir. 48-1-14; Mt. 6:7-15), by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.
Would that we had the fire of Elijah, that we would pray as he did, that we would have the faith he did! In the Gospel today, it says, “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” Where does forgiveness begin? With yourselves. Sometimes we carry along things that maybe we’ve been angry about for a while, or we feel so bad about ourselves that we tear others down in order to make ourselves feel better.
Real truth begins with understanding ourselves and letting go of our own opinion of ourselves. Sometimes we’re so full of an opinion of ourselves that we live trying to pick it up and make it look better than we think it is. But we have to ask, who cares? When we learn to live for others and forget ourselves we can be like Elijah. We won’t be so concerned about ourselves. So much of life is wasted on focusing on ourselves and making ourselves “holy”. But we become holy by focusing on others. By doing this we learn not to be selfish, we learn that an on-going conversion in our lives begins with forgetting yourself.
Work for others. Don’t worry about everyone else’s opinion of you. That really doesn’t matter in the long run. What matters is our fire of love for God through serving others. Draw a circle around your own two feet and then step out and move on. Don’t stand within that barrier and let that hold your feet fast from moving forward.
Life really is such a good blessing and such a gift. And if we live it that way, we won’t be so focused on our own personal sphere. The only thing we have to worry about in our lives is saying ‘yes’ to God and ‘no’ to ourselves. The rest will happen when we serve and love others. Never be afraid to serve another through very small deeds; every service we do for another helps us to grow beyond ourselves.