Living and Effective

“The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.”

Today’s Gospel is part of a succession of statements from Jesus which begin, “Woe to you!”

Woe to you, who think you are all set because you tithe, but you neglect the things of real importance, judgment, mercy and fidelity. Jesus even clarifies, it is good to tithe, but tithing alone doesn’t make up for neglecting how we live.

Woe to you, who worry about how things look on the outside but carry around ill-will and selfishness on the inside.

It isn’t about how things appear on the outside. It isn’t about going through the motions because we think it is what we should do. The Gospel is living and effective because it lives in us when we live as Jesus did.

And that is the bottom line, the life we are all called to is about living as Jesus lived. We are called to live with mercy and grace in all the private moments of our life as well as our public ones.

Those moments when we want to give up and instead, we take a deep breath and keep going. That is living as Jesus did.

When we see someone struggling and take a moment to ease their path. That is living as Jesus did.

When we get frustrated and want to throw a fit, but instead say a prayer and do the next right thing. That is living as Jesus did.

When we swallow our pride and act out of concern for others over our own comfort. That is living as Jesus did.

When we are tired and stressed and still smile and speak kindly to those we meet, that is living as Jesus did.

Jesus doesn’t call us all to great big public acts of heroism. But he does call each of us to follow his example and he gives us the opportunity to be his disciple in a multitude of small ways every day. He calls us to be his apostle carrying not just a message, but his mercy and grace everywhere we go. The Gospel is living, because Jesus makes it come to life in us. The Gospel is effective because it is our guide to living as Jesus did. When we tend to that, it has the power to change everything.

My prayer for you today is that you find yourself living out his grace in all the moments of your life, no matter how big or small.

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Sheryl delights in being the number 1 cheerleader and supporter for her husband, Tom who is a candidate for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. They are so grateful for the opportunity to grow together in this process whether it is studying for classes, deepening their prayer life or discovering new ways to serve together. Sheryl’s day job is serving her community as the principal for St. Therese Catholic School in Wayland, Michigan. Since every time she thinks she gets life all figured out, she realizes just how far she has to go, St. Rita of Cascia is her go-to Saint for intercession and help. Home includes Brea, a Bernese Mountain dog and Carlyn, a very, very goofy Golden Retriever.