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The Good News for the day, February 27, 2018

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent (231)

Jesus addresses both people in general and those who follow Him: “Educated people and religious leaders (Pharisees) have taken their position as teachers in the school of Moses. As a rule, follow carefully everything they are telling you, but don’t follow their example. Yes, they preach all right, but you—don’t practice what they preach. When they teach, they set heavy burdens hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they don’t lift a finger to make them any lighter. So much of what they do is done just to be seen. They make their religiosity obvious by noticeable garments of religion (by phylacteries and tassels). They prefer places of honor at formal meals, prominent seats in churches and the like (synagogues), acknowledgments in public, and salutes as significant persons. As for you, do not let yourself be called anything special You have only one teacher; you are all brother and sisters to one another. Call nobody on earth your father; you have only one Father—in the other realm. Do not let yourself be called ‘a superior,’ you have only one who is that—the Messiah. The greatest person among you will have to be someone who works for you. Anybody who puts himself up will get humbled; anybody who humbles himself will be respected.” (Matthew 23)

It is not only “OK” to be common; it is what Jesus says that we are—and that is a wonderful condition! Factions and parties—No!—the Family of God—Yes!

We share a “common community”—as humans who are creatures of a Father-Creator, Someone loving us into Life with every breath. You are better than no one—and that is just fine! Each person is given individual gifts and challenges. Even though you and I share a sameness in important ways, each of us is also distinct.

We strive, fail—and repent. We are sincere—though we act superior one moment showing off our wisdom and knowledge—but humbly admitting that we are inferior the next. We show others how to do things—but then need to be shown. We look for guidance from father-figures but finally realize that true, moral, important guidance is our own conscience—your Father’s voice. We like to be honored—considered smart, brave, beautiful, competent, nice and good—and know—beyond all that—that we have failures—ignorance, plainness, incompetence, cowardice, rudeness and—“behaving badly.” We’re a fine bunch of contradictions—each of us.

The Good News—is that, following Jesus—we accept it all. It is who we are. A member of God’s family. Ordinary. Wonderful, Failures. Child. Adult. Stupid. Smart. Hopeful. We are who we are in God’s sight alone—and that is—in the end—the only standard that counts—responding to our Father “in secret.”

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