February 11, 2020: A Reflection for Tuesday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 7:1-13

This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

Inside out. That’s how you lived, isn’t it, Jesus? Inside out. You lived from the heart, from the center of your being. You knew that it was a way of being that we, your much- loved creatures, all needed to grow into. You hold us in the tenderest of care and love. So when you are questioned in today’s Gospel, you go right to the heart of what underlies the question and expose a place in the human person that, if we can but accept and take your hand in trust, we can enter into this journey of walking with you “inside out.”

Jesus, you were like us in all things but sin, so you know what we face in ourselves. In Gethsemane you had another plan, “Father, let this cup pass from me.” Then you let go, let go of the specter of pain that lay ahead of you, and you responded “inside out.” “…but not my will but yours be done.” You surrendered yourself, body, spirit and psyche, into the Father. The fullness of your love became manifest as you walked willingly in the path of the Plan of infinite love and mercy for all creation.

You have created us to walk our earthly life this way, from our center, from the inside out where not OUR agendas and plans are fought for and circumstances manipulated to “get what we want.” But from the inside out. From that place within where we hear your tender voice beckoning us to be all that the Father has called us to become. A person to whom God can extend His love and tender care of others through OUR love and care. Someone who isn’t shackled by their own agenda of how we want things to be, even when you stand at the door and knock at our consciousness and beckon us to trust and walk in faith.

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love.” We desire to live in your love, Lord Jesus. You have made us for this very reason. Help us with your tender mercy to live with our hearts close to you so that our lips will indeed honor you. And our hearts will become havens of your presence and love that we, at last living from the inside out, can offer to all who come to us.