Reflecting on Matthew 23: 1-12
Don’t you love people who do wonderful, holy things every day, out of the sight of the rest of us? Every once in a while we might accidentally catch them doing good, and I think it’s important that we do. How else can we be edified and inspired if we never know that they are companioning an elderly neighbor through his last months in hospice, or loving and comforting a mentally ill spouse, or singing and dancing with a beautiful child backstage for four hours before she walks down the runway with Ed McCaffrey in the Down Syndrome Fashion Show?
There’s really no other possible explanation for the heroic things that average people do every day except for this: they are in love. They have let themselves fall deeply in love with Love, and out of that collision has come hospitals, schools, shelters, food banks, foundations, and the spouse who, less than a year after her own mother’s long goodbye, now helps care for her husband’s mother as she begins that same journey.
Parents are the most inspiring example I can think of, especially those with children who are, how to say this, challenging? Love is patient and kind, believes all things and hopes all things. Is there anything more beautiful than parents who believe and hope and love their children through the awkwardness of adolescence?
Let’s take a second to just let all that goodness pour over us and into us and out from us. It’s hard to be inspired by the Pharisees, who put their good works on display. How sad. Because our true measure is who we are when no one’s looking.
What example can you give of someone who is heroic in silent, small ways?
For Fred, Lynda, Delane, and Mary
who continue to inspire after all these years
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).