Daily Gospel Reflection for April 9, 2014

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Today’s Gospel: John 8:31-42

“Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works of Abraham.’”

As a parent, I’m very focused on my children and their behavior. I’m concerned about how squirmy and loud they are being during library story time and whether they adequately thanked the bank teller for the lollipops she gave them. I watch them carefully during play dates to be sure they are being kind to each other and to their friends. I am persistent in having them “make it right” if they hurt each other.

This is as it should be. It is my job to keep them safe, to teach them right from wrong, and to help them grow up with a solid concept of what appropriate behavior looks like. Part of my purpose in life is to help them learn to be followers of Jesus, and that means gently shaping their hearts and attitudes to be more and more like Christ.

Sometimes, though, I’m so attentive to their behavior that I don’t think as much about my own. I know right from wrong, and many positive behaviors are ingrained habits by now. I don’t have to think about not hitting my brothers and sisters or about using good manners at the table. Still, I’m also a work in progress. As a follower of Jesus myself, I need to be vigilant about my own heart and attitudes. I need to be sure that I am also becoming more and more like Christ.

If we are known by the kinds of lives we lead…if Abraham’s children should be doing Abraham’s work…then I am responsible for making sure my actions and attitudes make it clear that I belong to Jesus. If I’m often impatient with my children or short-tempered with my husband, or if I slam the car door in frustration when someone steals the parking space I wanted, am I showing that I belong to Christ? If I listen to gossip without speaking up or pretend not to see the homeless man that stands outside my parish every Sunday, am I demonstrating that I’m a follower of Jesus?

I know that every single day, I could be doing better.

We gain little by beating ourselves up for all the ways in which we are imperfect. We are human, and we are going to fail. What we can do is try to examine our lives closely for ways in which we can make our actions more closely mirror Christ and then lovingly encourage ourselves (and each other) to do a better job of living for Jesus…kind of the way we gently urge our children to use their forks instead of their fingers at the table.

 

Ponder:

What is one thing you could do today to make it clear that you are a follower of Christ?

Pray:

Father, help mold my heart to be more like yours, and help me make my actions reflect that I belong to Christ.

Copyright 2014 Abbey Dupuy

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About Author

Abbey Dupuy writes her life as a homeschooling mom of four. She muses about parenting, practicing gratitude and celebrating the liturgical year with her young family at Surviving Our Blessings. In her spare time, Abbey enjoys running, knitting, coffee, and cookbooks, not usually all at the same time.

4 Comments

  1. Abbey, such a beautiful reflection on such a challenging gospel! I was truly struck by this portion:

    Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
    everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
    A slave does not remain in a household forever,
    but a son always remains.
    So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.

    To answer your question, today is one of those days when I will be out “in the world” interacting with a group who does not share my beliefs. I think I’ll commit myself to not shying away from the challenging topics I know will arise — the ones where i typically either change the subject or remain silent. Making it “clear” who I follow demands that I not politely abstain from standing up for my beliefs.

  2. Lisa, that sounds like a big challenge! I’ll be praying for you as you interact with those around you today as you tackle any tough topics that might arise.

  3. This post really speaks to me this week! It is a challenge as a mother to not only be reminding our children of right behavior, but to be a constant good example to them so they can follow our lead! And yet when we are tired of reminding them over and over, it becomes all too easy to lose our patience and slam doors and lose sight of reflecting Christ. Thanks for the reminder–I sure needed it!

  4. Oh, dear. You’re right on with this one, Abbey. It’s so easy to see how my kids are misbehaving and so easy to ignore my own transgressions. I think this is why confession is such a necessary sacrament. If I ultimately have to admit something aloud to another person, I’m more likely to stop and think it through.

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