Eph 4:1-6 / Lk 12:54-59
In the United States, most citizens spend a minimum of thirteen years in school, with additional years in college and graduate school and other sorts of professional training for at least many of us. And yet, for most of life’s truly important tasks, we are left to figure things out for ourselves. Over and over we find ourselves saying, “I’ve never done anything like this before.” I’ve never been a parent before, or a teenager before, or a pastor, or married, or old, or dying. And never having been or done any of those things before, we step forward, do our best, and make our share of mistakes — all of us!
St. Paul knew this well. After all, he’d never been an Apostle before! So his words in today’s epistle spring out of his own felt need as well as charity’s demands. “Bear with one another lovingly,” he says. And we can almost hear him saying under his breath, “If we don’t do that for one another, none of us has a chance.”
Compassion — an understanding, listening heart, is the gift we owe to one another, and the gift we desperately need from one another. And it’s the debt that we owe to God who always forgives us even before we ask.
Bear with one another lovingly, and the peace of Christ will be yours!