I hope you summer continues to go well. It certainly is flying by quickly.
In our second reading, St. Paul urges the Ephesians, and us, to “live in a manner worthy of the call you have received.” What is that “call”?
There were strong divisions in the Ephesian community, especially between Jewish and Gentile Christians. The “call” was to bring unity and Paul lists four virtues that will lead to unity: humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing with one another.
There are strong and hateful divisions in our country and Church today. The call for humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing with one another is as relevant now as it was then.
We can say to ourselves, “who am I? Just one little person. How can I make a difference?” But look at our first and Gospel readings, which present large numbers of people being fed with a small amount of bread. Both Elisha’s servant and Jesus’ disciples objected that such a little bit couldn’t make a difference. But with God, it was not only possible, but happened: the bread was enough for everyone.
The point is we DO make a difference when we are humble, gentle, patient, and forbearing. My kindness, with God’s help, can have a domino effect on others. If everyone who calls themselves Christian would live these virtues, our country would be different. We would respect each other, listen to each other, and be able to come to agreements that benefit everyone, not just “my group.” That is the “one hope” that Paul refers to.
I invite us this week to reflect on how we are living the virtues of humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance. How can I do better? As we struggle to grow, let us support each other in prayer.
Church sign of the week: Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?