“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
From Luke 6:36-38
During freshman year religion class, Sister Imelda remarked that we can get a good picture of ourselves by looking at our friends. Though Sister’s observation doesn’t always hold true, there is wisdom to be found in what she said. How often during my teaching career did I observe a good kid being conned by the allure of unsavory acquaintances? More times than I’d like to admit, for sure. Giving in to behaviors that aren’t “so bad” can lead an unwary child down the frightening path to big trouble.
The good news is that I also witnessed the opposite phenomenon among my students. Placing a troubled child in good company resulted in many unexpected liaisons which widened the horizons of all concerned. These amazing friendships changed everything for the children involved.
This Lent, you and I walk in the company of an unexpected friend as well. Though he suffers the ramifications of “guilt by association,” you and I enjoy the full benefits of his station in this life and in the next. It is up to us to be so open to his influence that, when others look at us, they get a good picture of this Jesus who has befriended us.
Dear Jesus, I am doing my best to get to know you better this Lent. Please teach me even more about you through the scriptures, through my worship, through my prayer and through the good people who are my family and friends. As we journey together, transform me that I may be a reflection of your goodness to others.
©2013 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved