Have you heard this one before: “What are you waiting for, a sign from God?” We're in the 2nd month of the year 2022. Today is the 20th day of the month. That's several 2's and a couple zeros and thus we could write the numerical date as: 2-20-2022. Interesting, I think, as I notice these things sometimes.
20th Century Catholic writer G.K. Chesterton comments in his work “What’s Wrong With the World” (lots of W’s, double u’s): “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” That’s what is boldly served up to us this weekend by Jesus in our 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time Gospel reading known as St. Luke’s “Sermon on the Plain.” A summation on which we focus today is: stop (harshly, ignorantly) judging and instead, be kind. Jesus found in his time plenty of mean judgement and unkindness. Let’s not be too confused. “Right Judgement” (a.k.a. “Counsel”) is a gift of the Holy Spirit for us in making decisions primarily regarding ourselves: regarding others. This gift guides choices like who we hang around with and to recognize who’s truly an unsafe person we may need to avoid. Kindness? Well, it’s ours to dispense freely.
Jesus orders us and strengthens us to be like himself and God. Be compassionate and let our kindness flow to everyone as we are guided. Love and kindness back to those who love and are kind to us is good but we need be even better. We can be our good, better and best selves all the while standing strong as Christ’s disciples. Yet it’s often difficult. In what are we grounded? Fear and anger? They’re stumbling blocks that need to be tricked. Have you ever heard this as advice towards foes: “kill them with kindness.” There is reversal, inversion and backwards needed. Is today’s date a sign to be heeded or a coincidence? 2-20-2022 has the same numbers backwards: 2202022. Trying the reversal of “reacting as usual” or being like most others is daring and maybe dangerous? Olympic figure skaters dare fresh reversals and gliding backwards all the time, and we find it beautiful to behold. There’s a Christian Olympics going on right now, today could be the perfect reverse and upside down day to try ________?