Friday, November 8, 2013

Looking for the good

In each of St. Paul's letters he addresses specific problems within the church to whom he writes. The early church like the church today was in a state of constant flux and with that flux there was often conflict and division. It is simply part of the growing process.

But rather than simply chastising the people for their many failing or painting the world around us as an enemy to be fought, St. Paul also looks for what is good.

Today's first reading today opens with him saying to the Romans:

I myself am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another.

Imagine if that were how we began each interaction, each discussion, each negotiation. Imagine if we began not with the disputed issue but with what is true and good in the other person or persons.

Even if we look at the word "critique"; it is defined as a detailed analysis or assessment of something. How often do we reduce it to what's wrong? And certainly the verb to critique or criticize, in the present day have almost exclusively negative connotation.

Sunday's first reading reminded us that no one would exist if God did not love them, if God did not hold them in being.

Even the most difficult person in your life is loved by God. Look for the good in them and you will find it.