Monday, October 3, 2005

Weekend Fun and Daily Reflection

This weekend featured a few highlights worth sharing:

1. Coldplay's concert outside Washington, D.C.

2. Fishing and camping along the Potomac River with a good friend of mine

3. Napping for 1 1/2 hours along the banks of the Potomac in the sunshine

I've posted photographs from the trip for your enjoyment!


Today's reflection is from 2 Corinthians, 2: 5-10

If anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure (not to exaggerate) to all of you. This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person, so that on the contrary you should forgive and encourage him instead, or else the person may be overwhelmed by excessive pain. Therefore, I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, to know your proven character, whether you were obedient in everything. Whomever you forgive anything, so do I. For indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has ben for you in the presence of Christ

Paul's words clarify the distorted reality we inhabit, regardless of our faith or belief. In a perfect world, we would not cause another pain. Sadly, imperfection abounds in us and our world. Faulted, we turn away from one another can inflict pain, and punishment. Ironically, the communal nature of our lives means that the sin of one impacts all, again regardless of faith or ethnicity or religious background.

If you do not believe this, consider slander, libel, war, murder, rape, abuse, adultery. Sin is a selfish act commited against others for private gain. While the pain may lesson as it expands from those immediately involved to those friends and families of the afflicted, it nonetheless colors our interactions.

How many painful memories do you carry? Have you shared? These scars are the remnants of sin's hurt and pain laid upon you by someone else's selfishness.

Paul's words are so appropriate, challenging us to accept that the sinner does himself pain when satisfying selfish desires, as much as he hurts others. And in so doing has received punishment enough, so much so, that we are called to forgive him.

What a message of hope! Here we are, causing hurt and pain in so many - oftentimes more than we will ever know - and Paul raises our sights above base punishment to a greater virtue - forgiveness! Forgiveness is the healing balm that cures sin's invasive sickness. It heals not just those invovled, but touches the lives of everyone. To be forgiven is to learn how to forgive! If we can search our hearts for those times when we benefited from other's generostiy nad fogiveness there is no doubt we can return that same favor to others! What a gift!

The idea of true forgiveness is akin to unconditional love. We look at someone who has caused pain, admit we love them, and unconditionally forgive them - we put a stop to the pain that spreads like infection within a wound. We have the power to heal, if we only choose to forgive! What a wonderful opportunity for us all, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Athiest, or of any other faith! We can savor the delights of forgiveness, and truly, we are all in need of the great graces it provides!