The Baptism of the Lord
Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7; Psalm 29; Mark 1:7–11 (Year B)
A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench. Isaiah 42:1:3
Jesus will never kick you when you are down.
Pope Francis says we shouldn’t do it either: to ourselves or to others.
At a Catholic Action meeting (May 1, 2017) Pope Francis called us to be agents of mercy to those separated from the Church rather than "border control" agents.
"Please, open the doors, don't administer Christian perfection tests.”
Jesus never asked whether someone was keeping the rules. He looked to the heart, to the need, to the desires of the person in front of him. He sat down at table with sinners, and made feeding them the “first and greatest pastoral commandment” of his Church. Speaking to Peter, he said to us all: “If you love me, feed my sheep” (John 21:17).
Our first duty to others is to feed, not to judge. Francis said we mustn’t be “more restrictive than the Church nor more papist than the pope.” Nor more Christian than Christ himself!
Before we exclude another person from anything, we should try to imagine Jesus doing it.
From what can we imagine Jesus excluding anyone who is not positively evil?
Jesus is the friend of sinners (Luke 7:34). They have first claim on his love.
Friendship is interaction. Interact with Jesus and you will realize he never excluded you.
ACTION: Reach out to someone who feels excluded.
PRAYER: “Lord, do this with me, do this in me, do this through me.”