Ah...the last day of April. It's hard to believe. I feel, sometimes, like I am not living each day to the fullest, but, frankly, I get pretty much out of every day so I am unsure how to do better. It's just that time flies, doesn't it? Maybe the key is to be less busy and not more. If you figure that one out, let me know.
Because today is the last day of April that means tomorrow is the first day of May. Duh. I say that only because for the past several years here on this most humble blog, I have celebrated my heavenly Blessed Mother on every day in May, and I will do so again, occasionally sneaking in a personal post. I will post my monthly picture post later today for those of you who are also doing a monthly picture post.
I have had something on my mind since Sunday Mass and wanted to talk here about it. It's a touchy subject, depending on who you are.
The Sunday Gospel was John, and included Our Lord's telling of the new commandment.
I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jn 13: 34-35
It is my feeling that non-Catholics and non-Christians like to throw this scripture back in our faces when we speak of following the bible in other ways, as though following God's other rules means we are not following this new commandment. As though following God's other commandments and requiring others to follow them means we have no love.
You know the old song "They will know we are Christians"?
And we pray that our unity may one day be restoredAnd they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
It's as though the fact that we are not united is because we are not loving enough.
But Jesus did not just say, "Love one another." He also said "Go and sin no more."
You can not have one without the other. Love is telling you that you are sinning, even when you don't want to hear it.
I give for example a situation which has been going on in our diocese. A few weeks ago it became public (through the news) that the diocese had fired a woman who had been teaching gym at one of the diocesan high schools. She had, in her mother's obituary, published the name of her female partner in the survivors. A parent of student at the school noticed it and sent the obituary to the diocese, and the diocese fired her. She had sign a contract which stated she would (though she was not Catholic) live according to Catholic teaching. By publishing her partner's name she outed herself and, whether intentional or not, made it known she was not living according to Catholic teaching. It's likely most of the faculty at the school and probably most of the students already knew this information, so there's a problem right there.
What has happened since this information became public has been a fire storm, and guess who the burn victim is? The Catholic Church. It's oh so easy to throw fire balls at the Catholic Church, especially since the Catholic Church "is not available for comment."
It's rather infuriating, and I am not one who normally believes that the Church should respond to every accusation right away. But in not responding and speaking the truth -- "She lied! She said she would live according to the beliefs of the Church!" -- we allow others to be led astray. Students of the high school are protesting, publicly (and of course on the evening news), saying "Aren't we taught to love one another?" "We should just love one another!" Yeah -- thrown right back in our faces. They haven't been educated that when this woman signed her teacher's contract she agreed to live out the truths of the Church and then she lied! How's that for betrayed? But right now Judas has the microphone and he's the only one speaking. Meanwhile many young Catholics are not being informed of the truth and why we believe it.
But we are called to love one another...oh, that 11th commandment...probably the hardest one to obey.
We should never forget, however, Jesus said, "As I have loved you, so you also should love one another." And that means with the love, comes the correction. Jesus loved the adulteress woman, but He also told her to sin no more. We can not forget that though we do not judge, we are called to correct. One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to admonish the sinner. We can not love without admonishing.
If you are interested in being kept up-to-date in this fire storm, let me know. I am happy to post on what happens next. It's far from over.
Edited after the fact to add this link to today's newspaper article.