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.