"Let Us Attend"
If you were not at the Liturgy yesterday, and therefore missed the Epistle reading (and one can "miss" the reading even when physically present!), I would like to make the Epistle reading present here yet again, because it deserves to be listened to very carefully and attentively. What the Apostle Paul is exhorting us to strive for is nothing less than being Christ-like in our relationships with other human beings: those who need our assistance, those that we are truly at odds with, and even those that persecute us! This would mark us out as true Christians, because we would be doing what Christ taught and did. The passage is ROM. 12:6-14, yet I am going to continue through to verse 21, because of the continuity of theme:
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal, he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written: "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." No, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals upon his head." Do not be overcome evil by evil, but overcome evil with good.
A great deal to think about as the work week begins!