Our Ways Are Not His Ways
By: Becky Visosky
To be Christian and to follow Christ is not an invitation to be passive. It is a daily challenge to lay down our own preconceived notions, our limited perceptions, our own will, and surrender ourselves to His. Because our ways are not His ways.
That challenge is no more acutely felt than when we are called by the Gospel to love both our friends and enemies alike. We should not confuse Christian love, a firm act of the will, with secular love, a transient emotion. Christian love of the person is not a call to blanket acceptance of others' actions. Rather, it means loving someone enough to embrace their dignity as a creation of God, while likewise inviting them, by our own examples, to be more Christlike.
We let our own limitations undermine the power of that love when we trade the dignity of the human person for convenience, for profit, for retribution, or even out of fear or a misguided sense of eye-for-an-eye justice.
We are forcing a limitless Lord into the confines of our own limited understanding.
In today’s first reading, when God tells Abram to “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can,” we are reminded of the infinite reach of our Lord, beyond our comprehension. He promises Abram that his progeny will live on in numbers only rivaled by the stars he sees in the sky. That is the abundance of human potential, which can only be fully realized when we fully give ourselves to the Lord.
When we instead end a human life – whether at its beginning or before its natural end–we reject that gift, not only for one person, but for the generations who will follow and would have been affected by that person. That loss is not just felt here on earth, but eternity suffers when we place ourselves in the way of God’s will for any human soul.
In today’s Gospel, we are invited to experience with Peter, John, and James a glimpse into that eternity, as they stood in awe of Christ’s glory. And what is Peter’s first response? He wants to confine this moment to his own perceptions by building three tents for Christ, and Moses and Elijah appearing with Him. “But he did not know what he was saying.”
This moment was not about enshrining our Lord in a temple. It is about the boundless love of our Lord embodied in His only Son, who came to redeem not just some, but all of humanity.
In a simple command, the Lord directed the apostles, and us, "This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” Throughout this Lent, let us hear and embrace the challenge of that message.
Becky serves as Executive Director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, the Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas. As Executive Director, she leads a devoted staff who provide supportive client services, bilingual education for youth and adults, and opportunities for community engagement to advance a Culture of Life in North Texas and beyond.