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Be kind
and
compassionate


   

Tuesday Reflection

   

29th December 2020


   

'to one another...'


32 Be kind and compassionate
   to one another,
   forgiving each other,
   just as in Christ God
   forgave you.'

....Ephesians 4:32


"Sorry, If I had known
I would have gone easier on you."


I overheard this
as part of a conversation while
standing in a supermarket queue..

This got me to thinking
just how often we do
and say such things.

It happens all the time -
in the normal bustle
of daily living -
when we are moving too fast,
or feeling in need of help -
we fail to recognize
what's happening around us-
we forget what it is
that we should be about.

Sometimes we load up
other people with our
burdens and pains,
we pour out all our complaints
and troubles, only to discover
later on that the person
is dealing with their own
emotional burden,
a burden far heavier
than our own.

Sometimes we ask someone
to do this or that thing
without considering their work load.

We just assume that the
other person is willing
to assist us,
only to discover later on
that they have just put in
a double shift at work,
or that a relative of
theirs' has just be in accident.

Other times we may,
in good humour,
tease someone about something,
thinking that we know them
well enough to have
a bit of fun with them,
only to discover later on
that he or she is very
sensitive about the
very thing we thought
was safe to tease them about.

And we realize that
we have blown it -
that we have acted
inappropriately, and we
seek out the person
concerned and in almost
every case we say
something like:
if I had known, I would not
have asked you that;
I would not have said that;
I would not have bothered you.

What is this -
'If I had known' excuse anyway?
I think it is a genuine
kind of excuse,
people are very sincere
when they offer it,
but does it really count
for a lot in the long run?

Shouldn't we be caring
and loving and respectful
all the time?

Shouldn't we always pay attention -
before we say or do something,
to where the person is at -
to who the person is -
to what the situation is?

The story is told about a Guru
who was meditating in
his Mountain cave.

When he opened his eyes
he discovered an unexpected
visitor sitting before him -
the abbot
of a well known monastery.

"What is it you seek",
asked the Guru?

The abbot recounted
a tale of woe.
At one time his monastery
had been famous throughout
the western world'.

Its' cells were filled
with young aspirants and its
church had resounded to the
chant of its monks.

But hard times had come
on the monastery.;
people no longer flocked there
to nourish their spirits,
the aspirants had dried up,
and the church was almost silent.

There were only a handful
of monks left and these
went about their duties
with heavy hearts.

The abbot wanted to know -
"Is it because of some sin
of ours that the monastery
has been reduced to this state?"

"Yes", replied the Guru,


"a sin of ignorance."


"And what might that sin be?"
the Abbot asked.

"One of your number
is the Messiah in disguise
and you are ignorant of this",
replied the Guru -
and having said so
he closed his eyes and
returned to his meditation.

Throughout the long journey back
to his monastery
the abbot's heart beat faster,
as he thought that the Messiah -
the Messiah himself -
had returned to earth
and was right there in his monastery.

How was it that he had failed
to recognize him?
And who could it be?
Brother Cook?
Brother Sacristan?
Brother Treasurer?
Brother Prior?

No, not he;
he had too many defects, alas.
But then, the Guru had said
he was in disguise.
Could those defects
be part of his disguise?
Come to think of it,
everyone in the monastery
had defects.

And one of them had to be Messiah.

Back in the monastery
the abbot assembled
all the monks and told them
what he had discovered.

They looked at one another
in disbelief.
The Messiah? Here?
Incredible.
But he was supposed to be
here in disguise.

So, maybe.
What if it were so and so?
Or the other one over there?
One thing was certain.

If the Messiah was there
in disguise, it was not
likely that they would
recognize him.

So they took to treating
everyone with special
respect and consideration.

"You never know",
they said to themselves
when they dealt
with one another,
"maybe this is the one."

The result was that
the atmosphere of the
monastery became
vibrant with joy.

Soon dozens of aspirants
were seeking admission
to the order. -
and once again
the church echoed with
the holy and joyful chant
of monks who were aglow
with the spirit of love.


May our homes, churches,
lives, be places of respect,
consideration and aglow
with the spirit of love.


Blessings


Maureen