Well, Did You?

14 Oct

“Did I offer peace today?  Did I bring a smile to someone’s face?  Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment?  Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.”  ~ Henri Nouwen

People are always quick to blame others for not doing the right thing.  However, people are generally not so quick to blame themselves for not doing the right thing.  But it is not the other person about whom we should fret, it is about ourselves. We are responsible for offering peace.  We are responsible for bringing a smile to someone’s face.  We are responsible for letting go of anger and resentment.  We are the ones who are to forgive and to love.

At the end of our days, God, the Just Judge, is not going to ask us how many people we caught not doing what they were supposed to do.  God is going to ask us — yes, us — if we did the right thing, if we refrained from doing the wrong thing, if we lived as His witnesses.

That might be an awfully uncomfortable judgment for some of us.  We may have been too busy keeping our eyes fixed on others when our gaze should have been turned inward and where our attention should have been devoted.

No matter how old we are, it is never too late to begin doing the right thing. Quit worrying about the faults of others.  Instead, let us work on our own failings, asking God to give us the many graces that we need to improve and become more like His Son, Jesus.

For, as Henri Nouwen reminds us, when we sow God’s love in this world of ours, it will produce much fruit.  When we are quick to forgive others for the harm wrought against us, we show them that there is a better way.  Perhaps they will become people of mercy and love rather than hurt and hatred.  When we reach out in love and heal someone’s broken spirit, we give them reason to consider how they might do that for another.

Jesus gave of Himself completely for us and, in the process, taught each and every one of us what we could and should be doing for one another and for the world.  Sowing the love of Jesus by doing His good works, we can only make our world a better place to live for ourselves, for others, and for future generations.

FAITH ACTION:  By the words you choose and the deeds you do, sow God’s love today.