WEEK TWO: RELATIONSHIPS
…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
As we close this week of reflection on how we may be more faithful and loving in our relationships, these verses in Colossians 3 provide a perfect summary for us. Paul says them so beautifully that there is little to add. We relate to one another more perfectly if we…
~clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience… and above all, love.
~bear with one another.
~forgive one another.
~let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.
~grow in wisdom.
How can we possibly do all these things? By doing “everything in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God (vs. 17).” We could never do this on our own. Our help comes from Jesus, and we need to rely on his Spirit in every moment.
I have begun a practice of beginning each day asking for his help. I make the sign of the cross- first on my forehead, asking for guidance and wisdom; then on my chin, asking for loving and thoughtful words; and finally on my heart, asking for a generous and willing spirit. (I once saw a similar gesture before the gospel reading during a Catholic worship service and found it beautiful.)*
May we keep learning and growing in love, and may we increasingly relate to one another in tender, humble and godly ways, until are one day perfected and united in eternity. We can do this in the name of Jesus. And don’t forget to thank God!
Which of the ways of love listed above most touch your heart and soul today?
Which of these actions ways do you see as your current strength?
In which of the ways do you most need to grow?
Are there any practices or objects that will remind you to turn to Jesus for help and guidance?
Jesus, Loving Guide,
Thank you for Paul’s words to us. Help us to relate to one another in these ways, that by our life, love, words, and actions we may draw others closer to you and to one another. May we reflect your love in every moment. Thank you for all of the relationships you have given us. Help us to cherish each of them as your precious gifts. Amen.
*Sign of the Cross- from Wikipedia: The primary use for this is immediately before the reading of the Gospel during the Mass. Using the right thumb, a small cross is traced over the forehead, lips, and heart of the individual while whispering or silently praying the words “May Christ’s words be on my mind, on my lips, and in my heart.”