From Deacon Dick
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” (1 Cor 12:7)
This excerpt from today’s second reading reminds us that the Holy Spirit is at work in all people. Each of “us” (that is, each human person on this earth) is given “different kinds of spiritual gifts by the same Spirit.”
We believe that each individual is a “temple of the Holy Spirit.” Then how is it that hate seems to be so rampant and even accepted as the norm? How might we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us to help usher in the Kingdom of God that Jesus announces?
Recently I had a conversation with one of my friends who is struggling with the breadth and depth of hate that permeates our world. He raised a fundamental question that should echo within our hearts: Given our experiences of hate in all its virulent forms, what can I do about it … what can I do about it… what can I do about it? And so my friend went to his Rabbi who gave him a card on which was written:
I pledge from this day onward:
- I will speak out against anyone who mocks, seeks to intimidate or actually hurt someone of a different race, religion, ethnic group, gender or sexual orientation.
- I will reach out to support those who are targets of harassment.
- I will do my best to interrupt prejudice and to stop those who, because of hate, would hurt, harass or violate the civil rights of anyone.
- I will try at all times to be aware of my own biases against people who are different from me.
- I will seek to deepen my understanding of other cultures, religions, sexual identities, and races that I don’t understand.
- I will think about specific ways my community can promote respect for people and create a prejudice-free zone.
- I firmly believe that one person can make a difference and that no person can be an “innocent bystander” when it comes to opposing hate.
What can I do to about hate? The best way to overcome the bad is the practice of the better. May we pledge from this day onward to bring the Gospel to life through the ways in which we love one another. And let the church say: AMEN!