- 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a
- Romans 6:3-4, 8-11
- Matthew 10:37-42
Reflection Written by: Aaron Walsh, LGBTQ Ministry
The readings this week speak directly of life and death, the core issues surrounding human existence. What, or who, should we live for? What is death, and how can it be overcome? How do we live righteously, and how do we avoid sin? What does it mean to be fully alive?
Throughout history, human beings have always been swept up in frothing currents of births and funerals, war and peace, liberation and slavery, medical progress and new plagues, triumphs and tragedies, life and death. As individuals and communities, we continually face new joys and new heartaches.
Through the courageous advocacy of many, more are coming to understand that modern-day racism denigrates human dignity and threatens the lives of innocent people. It is important to note that for those who have directly experienced racial oppression, this is not a new concept. It is a painfully personal reality. After centuries of systemic racism and oppressive violence, many continue to ask how our community, nation, and world can move toward healing, justice, and peace. How can we heal from the past? How can we change education, law enforcement, housing, employment, banking, health care, and other systems to promote equality and justice? How can we live joyfully while continuing the struggle to build a better world?
The readings today make it clear that life is most fully lived when we die to sin and rise in new life with Jesus Christ. Jesus is God become man. He entered human life out of pure love for us so that we might enter into his divine life and become one family through him.
Fullness of life comes when we live not for ourselves, but for God and others. It is the mystery of Jesus’s death and resurrection that provides us with our greatest hope. St. Paul writes, “If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” When we unite ourselves with the risen Jesus through faith and service, we learn that permanent death cannot touch us. We still face bitter injustice and agonizing grief. As Christ was crucified, we will also have our time on the cross.
But through our greatest trials, we know that Jesus is risen. Through his grace and resurrection, eternal life already thrums in our hearts and fills us with visions of a better world. Our souls yearn for a Kingdom where there will be no more racism, violence, murder, or death. Even now, we see the future that Jesus promised would one day come to pass, and we are called to build it together day by day.
Life has never been easy or painless, but it is always good. Life is precious. It is our greatest gift, and in our freedom, we are called to share this gift of life with others. Jesus says, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Question for Reflection
- Is anything holding me back from living selflessly for God and others? Does fear prevent me from speaking up for truth? Does anger make me lash out when I could build peace instead? How can I let go of the things that keep me from being the servant and advocate God made me to be?
- When I am feeling overwhelmed by injustice or oppression, how can I bring my suffering to God and let him heal me? How can I reject despair and hold onto faith and hope?
- What is God calling me to do at this moment in history and in my own life? How can I be of service to my family, my community, and my world?