by Nancy Small, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
Since you’ve been resurrected with Christ, set your heart on what pertains to higher realms, where Christ is seated at God’s right hand. (Col 3:1)
Today’s epistle reading invites us to live as an Easter people, saying, “Since you’ve been resurrected with Christ, set your heart on what pertains to higher realms” (Col 3:1). This summons is given by disciples who committed themselves to continuing the nonviolent way of Jesus. With Christ as their stronghold, they lengthened the reach of nonviolence into the heart of society. Each time they were beaten or imprisoned, they persevered, never giving up, always reaching toward the greater good.
The way of nonviolence has a lot to do with reaching for the greater good. We reach for the greater good within ourselves and appeal to the greater good in one another. And we reach for the greater good that lies in the heart of society. We do this by calling forth and cultivating more of the stuff of heaven that we long for on earth. More justice, more peace, more love. More patience diffusing tempers and tension in conflicts. More mercy guiding public policies and washing over hearts filled with hatred. More healing in people and places harmed by violence.
“Each of us has a capacity for great good and that is what makes God say it was well worth the risk to bring us into existence,” writes Archbishop Desmond Tutu. “God … depends on us, puny, fragile, vulnerable as we may be, to accomplish God’s purposes for good, for justice, for forgiveness, for healing and wholeness.”
This is our summons. Fragile though we may be, we bring our faith. We bring our fortitude. And we bring our unwavering commitment to live as disciples of Christ who became vulnerable so that he might be victorious. Amen! Alleluia!
- In what way(s) do you reach for the greater good in yourself? In others? In society?
* This reflection is from Everything is Grace: Reflections for Lent 2016. To see all of our reflections and resources offered during Lent 2016, click here.