What's the Situation?
How do you handle situations in life? Think of an artist. They learn techniques, practice by sketching live objects and scenes, and then by taking time to come up with their own creative images. If they were to become frustrated and quit mid-way through a project, then it would never become a masterpiece, a work so beautiful people would gaze for hours. They persist, they continue on and find inspiration, dedicated to their task, to their joy. Do we react in the same way when it comes to using our faith, using the teachings of Jesus, to guide us in our lives?
Today's Gospel states:'"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them"' (Matthew 18:15-20).
Jesus is in the midst of us, no matter what we do or where we go. How then do we reflect his love for us in how we act in situations? If you get in an argument, do you take time to cool down, to reflect and act out of love, or do you react instantly aiming to hurt and wound others? You don't need to disregard when others hurt you. It's good to discuss it, to talk and heal the situation. However, we need to act with love in everything we do. Remember the saying 'W.W.J.D'? Take some time to ask God to help you handle difficult situations in your life with love and grace.
Today's prayer comes from 'Our Catholic Prayers' a prayer to handle situations well:
Teach me, my Lord, to be sweet and gentle in all the events of my life, in disappointments, in the thoughtlessness of others, in the insincerity of those I trusted, in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied. Let me forget myself so that I may enjoy the happiness of others. Let me always hide my little pains and heartaches so that I may be the only one to suffer from them. Teach me to profit by the suffering that comes across my path. Let me so use it that it may mellow me, not harden or embitter me; that it may make me patient, not irritable; that it may make me broad in my forgiveness, not narrow or proud or overbearing. May no one be less good for having come within my influence; no one less pure, less true, less kind, less noble, for having been a fellow traveler with me on our journey towards eternal life. As I meet with one cross after another, let me whisper a word of love to You. May my life be lived in the supernatural, full of power for good, and strong in its purpose of sanctity. Amen.