Authentically, Together

BY SHELBY SMYTH | February 1, 2021
Sunday’s Readings

Jesus chose ordinary men from all kinds of careers, families, and lifestyles, and He asked them to spread truth and love alongside Him.

He didn’t ask the rich and the famous. The humans that were hand-picked are more than aware of the difficulties of life. They knew what it was like to work a low-paying, sometimes unrewarding job to put food on the table for their families. These people knew what it was like to be human, authentically. These men could come together behind a common purpose of loving your neighbor as yourself and demanding justice for the poor. They spread the word through their lived experience, which was relatable to others.

Now, 2000 years later, we share that same responsibility of speaking our experience, in hopes that we can relate to others.

Authentically, together

We hold an important mission in our hands in today’s world that I think Amanda Gordon, the youngest inaugural poet, described perfectly two weeks ago:

We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside.

We are called this week to reflect on how we can spread love, mercy, forgiveness, and understanding in our position right now.  Not only on our role at our workplace, but also as a parent, sibling, friend, and human.

How can we act and speak with the purpose of spreading truth and love, with our differences aside? How can we work together each day to make sure that each human has dignity and respect?

Like the fishermen, our wins are not going to be in abundance every day. Sometimes there will be few, even none. But when we have a community of people working towards a common goal, we will make it through those tough days. Together.

5 replies
  1. Dr Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    The notion of bringing respect to everyone we meet is really a beautiful summation of the Gospels. To me respect is given when I am present to the person I am with and he/she is present to me. That authentic presence to each other and our constant striving to be in the presence of God, completes the desire to be truly holy. Our striving for this kind of holiness comes from our Pope who really wants all of us to get along in a way that is beneficial for all. In the midst of difficulty we ask our forgiving and merciful God to assist us in all our interactions so that the love of God becomes palpable. We feel His strong embrace and offer that goodness to others.

  2. Daniel Marcin
    Daniel Marcin says:

    Great reflection. I do think you mean Amanda “Gorman” though, and not Amanda “Gordon.”

  3. Elaine
    Elaine says:

    Hi Shelby,
    Your reflection here takes me to the second last paragraph where you ask two questions that I would like to not only respond to but to ask something in return. We can act and speak with the purpose of spreading truth and love , all differences aside, when we do just that-act truth and love and speak truth and love. As to your second question we can work together each day with the very basics of love and truth and that is by recognizing the graciousness of the gift of life in EVERY LIFE FROM THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION TIL NATURAL DEATH. It has to start there! The basis of life and love is willing the good of the other at whatever stage of development they are. To bypass that is to move to the inner self and to put ourselves at the center of everything we do. To recognize every life made in the image and likeness of God our creator is the beginning of the truth and love you speak of. This is important and basic and without it things go wrong. So, my question is can we destroy any aspect of human life from the moment of conception until natural death and think we can achieve human dignity and respect as per your question? Thanks for your reflection Shelby.

  4. RJ Andes
    RJ Andes says:

    If you can’t respect yourself or your neighbor…How can you put pressure on others to it ? With my sport background I was constantly fighting for it from my peers and coaches and I see this today with the youth I coach.

    Requesting dignity and respect can be hypocrisy at it’s core whilst using a passive aggressive tone to demand one particular race to admit something they have no part of and exclude them while demanding they bend a knee for a sin they have not committed.

    Include every race and share blame equally instead of promoting a divisive narrative, until this happens we will repeat and never learn, I know deep down in myself I show respect to others but I will also point out blatant brainwashing and forced ideology of my brothers and sisters and yes that includes white adult males that never get mentioned in a good light.

    Ask yourself this…and be honest….Would you break bread with someone that is your opposite ?

  5. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Authentic world-building is a nice project that needs to be undertaken by everyone, privileged to be journeying together on God’s Holy Ground and living in God’s Time.


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