I wonder sometimes if one of Jesus’ biggest messages is that humanity is not a contest. We, especially here in the affluent West, have lived for generations now with the non-stop barrage of advertising, materialism and consumerism, all designed to make us feel inadequate if we are not striving to be the best. One of the side effects of this is how we alienate our neighbours through competition instead of loving them. Another side effect seems to be each generation shaking their heads about the shallow degradation of the next generation.
My parents bemoaned the coming of rock and roll. My generation laments the attachment to technology of younger people today.
We forget that instead of besting our neighbour in the contest of consumerism, which invariably leaves us feeling empty, we ought to be about loving our neighbour in whatever circumstances, religious affiliation or sexual orientation they may be.
Jesus lived a life on earth of welcoming, accepting and loving those whom he met, be they tax collector or prostitute. When we follow our Lord’s example, reaching out and loving others, then we truly live.
Gracious God, help us to follow your son Jesus in heart and mind, and also in attitude and deed. Amen. — ML