Thursday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
(Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 6:27-38)
The third century theologian Tertullian quoted pagans admiring Christian, “Look how they love one another.” Evidently early Christians took to heart Scriptural passages like the one we read from the Letter to the Colossians today. We are told to “have heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another...”
Perhaps in the name of honesty Christians today criticize one another with all the fervor of hardened politicians. For the past generation at least the measure has been the liberal-conservative divide. Liberals speak of conservatives as compassionless while conservatives fault liberals for wavering commitment to Church belief. It may be imprudent and perhaps impossible to refrain from judgment on fundamental Christian principles like mercy and faithfulness. Still judgment does not require always speaking one’s mind. We follow Christ, in the words of the reading, by “bearing with one another and forgiving one another.” Or is it that when we act with such forbearance Christ follows us putting into our hearts his peace?