After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
An important practice in Ignatian Spirituality (often called “the plus sign”) is to give others the benefit of the doubt, or to interpret their words positively rather than negatively. It is a temptation when we feel threatened or insecure to project our emotions onto another person. How often have I misinterpreted someone’s comment, claiming it to be criticism, when it was merely my own fear of being criticized that caused me to interpret it that way? How often has envy caused me to label someone incorrectly in an effort to build myself up?
The first reading highlights this sinful inclination: “These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them, and they knew not the hidden counsels of God.” God often speaks to us through the people in our lives. How can we humbly interpret others’ words so we do not miss out on the hidden counsels of God?
—Sarah Otto received her M.Div from Boston College. She currently serves as director of the Newman Catholic Center in Chico, CA.
Let me have too deep a sense of humor to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human,
and most worthy of your serious consideration.
—Daniel A. Lord, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!