Unscrolling the Truth
BY JUSTIN WHITE | January 31, 2022
I always feel a tension within myself at the end of January. Did I keep operating as usual or did I follow through on the mental and physical list of things I wanted to do in the new year? I’ve realized, however, that if the changes, wishes, and tasks do not bring me back to the truth that I’m fearfully and wonderfully made—what’s the point? A call to better understand our own inherent worth, dignity, beauty, power, divinity, and humanity seems like a resolution to be made not every year, but every day. I’m reminded of the song by Emmy Meli that went viral on the interwebs of our lives.
Going further—a greater understanding of our own worth should invite us to welcome, celebrate, and protect the worth of others. There should be tremendous elation at the notion that each of us has been endowed with gifts, identities, and lives that contribute to the Kingdom. However, we know that this is not always the case.
Maybe those gathered in the synagogue did not know or feel their own worth and it caused them to react with anger and disdain.
Maybe it’s because they thought too highly of their worth, and had no room for others.
Maybe Jesus’ invitation to deeper conversion caused those listening to ask themselves:
“Haven’t I done enough for the Kingdom of God?”
“What sacrifices will I now have to make?”
“What about what I deserve?”
Have we heard or held these questions in our own time? Kingdom building not rooted in Love for self and others is doomed to be an exercise of the ego. We will miss out on the messages right in front of us because of a lack of patience and kindness, quick-temperedness, and elevated self-interests. This is not what we have been formed to do; this is not what we have been anointed to do.
We do not need a new year to recognize the constant need for Justice in our world. It is time that we unscrolled the life-changing, life-deepening, and life-freeing truth set before us everyday:
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Justin T. White is a middle school counselor, admissions associate, and clubs and activities coordinator at Loyola Blakefield in Towson, Maryland.
Building up of the kingdom of God comes to us through surrender to His will. He has things in mind for us through prayer. We offer ourselves and we wish for the kingdom of God to flourish. We dp this in union with Him and the people that surround us each day. Recently, I saw the importance of praying for myself so that I can bring the fruits of my gifts to others in a way that is best for them. What do they need to hear in order to bring Christ to others? It could be the simplest of things, a smile, a joke about the weather, saying hello and looking them in the eye, offering them a coffee, all these ordinary things help us to bring the kingdom to ourselves and to others. It seems that in January as the author states, we take a look at where we are going. We need to work on our deep seated faith so that others can also. In this gloomy weather we need to work on hope that brings us the willingness to go beyond ourselves to the needs and wants of others. We need to work on love of ourselves (which at times is not an easy task) and share in a meaningful way that love as the Pope asks us to do so that the kingdom of God becomes evident to all.
When we see beyond our personal needs and wants, realize our kinship with all people and all creatures as all loved by God and in God, it is not too challenging to share God’s blessings to us, material as well as spiritual, with those people and non-humans, with those in serious need. The poor person in our country, the starving child in another, the water polluted that some might drink, the fish dying in streams, lakes, rivers, oceans. If God is love and God is within us, let us save, heal and protect whoever and whatever is imperiled.
Thanks Justin. Conversion is an ongoing process. Fresh opportunities for conversion keep coming our way. Real conversion can add life to our life span. Long live conversion.