Today’s Gospel: John 10, 31-42
Images of stoning always cause me to pause. The act of stoning is so barbaric…and public…and harsh…and unjust. The victim is scared and usually alone.
How many stones will you throw today? 100? 200?
I know. You go to Mass. You pray. You are faithful to your spouse and family. You volunteer. You try to lead a good life. Great. We don’t wake up in the morning with a plan to throw stones, but let’s be honest.
Grudges, judgments, impatience, unkind words, gossip and arrogance – these happen when we let hurt feelings or a bruised ego guide our actions. What about choosing not to help, withholding forgiveness, avoidance or exclusion? These actions are usually justified by another’s failings or a “couldn’t be my fault” mentality.
Jesus says, “Believe the works, so you may believe in God.”
We often fail to see the works, much less recognize them as good. Guided by our own self-righteousness and priorities, we often judge another’s actions as not good enough, not the best solution or unfortunately, not most suited to our needs. We miss the work God personally entrusted that person to do, because of our own flawed thinking.
Grudges…judgment…impatience…unkind words…gossip…arrogance…choosing not to help…withholding forgiveness…avoidance…exclusion. Every one of these actions and many more are barbaric, public, harsh, and unjust.
They hurt another. They are barbaric. They impact another. They are public. They are certainly NOT merciful. They are harsh. They are justified by another’s shortcomings and not our fault. They are unjust.
These are STONES and we throw them EVERY SINGLE DAY, often intentionally.
We ignore the good in others and we fail to “believe the works”. We throw stones that hurt others and harden our hearts. Put down your stones and see the works. Put down your stones and see God.
Can you put down your stones and vow to seek the good in those you may not understand or like?
God grant me the strength to recognize my faults and work to change them. These stones weigh me down and limit my ability to do good works. I know You will provide the graces I need to be gentle, kind, merciful and just. Grant me the humility to put down the stones so I can see You at work in my life. Amen.
Copyright 2017 Lisa Connor
Lisa Connor and her husband, Mike, are the parents of five children, ages 8-17. Lisa volunteers with the parish Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program each school year. Fifteen years ago, Lisa was blessed to leave her job as a chemist and strategist to focus on being a mom. In her spare time, she reads profusely, dabbles in writing, loves to garden and contributes to various kid projects and activities. Future plans may involve a second career in teaching, depending on what God has planned.