Lectio: Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings of the day: RB 3:7-13Mass: Sirach 27:30-28:7; Resp. Psalm 103: Romans 14:7-9; Matthew 18:21-35
The inspiration for today’s reflection comes from a friend who writes for The Times, London, UK. For this Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, he begins, “Relationships form us. St Paul’s line, ‘The life and death of each of us has its influence on others’, is telling.” Over the past months I have been reflecting on people in my life who have influenced, or formed me over the years to help shape me into the person I am today. I’ve looked through my photo album, travel diaries, and even letters my siblings wrote to my mom when she was in the hospital with me. I have many fond memories of my family, teachers, and others in the past with whom I have been in relationship. I am grateful.
Today, though, let us focus on the present and those relationships that are forming us now. The people with whom I am in relationship have been pleasant surprises in my life; people who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, almost miraculously, when I needed them without knowing it. These people embrace me for who I am, not for what I do, or have done. They help me to believe that I am loved by God and even lovable in the face of my bad moods, irritations, and other not so pleasant behaviors. Through these relationships I am learning to love and be loved; growing pains and all. Today’s Gospel Acclamation is alive: “I give you a new commandment, says the Lord; love one another as I have loved you.”
As we embark upon a new week may we think about not only those who are influencing us, but also those we are influencing. We are not alone on our journey to God; we are meant to love, support, and encourage one another. Indeed, “None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.” My friend concludes with rather good advice: “From time to time, it is good to recognise those who have influenced us and be grateful. It is relationships that form us.” Amen.