Living Life in the Gray Area

First Reading: Romans 9:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie;
my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness
that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ
for the sake of my own people,
my kindred according to the flesh.
They are children of Israel;
theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants,
the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;
theirs the patriarchs, and from them,
according to the flesh, is the Christ,

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Gospel: Luke 14:1-6

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.
In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy.
Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking,
“Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?”
But they kept silent; so he took the man and,
after he had healed him, dismissed him.
Then he said to them
“Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern,
would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?”
But they were unable to answer his question.


oct 30

In high school, I had a fantastic yearbook teacher. She and I immediately connected. Now, nearly 25 years later, we are still good friends. One conversation she and I had back in my high school days has stuck with me. We were chatting about the absolutes in life, the black and the white. The good and evil. As we reflected on that, she winked and said to me, “Don’t forget about the gray area. As you get older, it gets bigger.”

The Pharisees were all about the rules and regulations, along with the rules to the rules and regulations. They obsessed over the tiniest of things in relation to work on the Sabbath. The black and white. But, Jesus? He saw the gray. Where they saw the rules for what you could and could not do, Jesus saw what should be done. A man was sick, therefore he should be healed. And, not only did Jesus heal the sick, but He turned to those around Him and challenged them. His witness matched His words.

In our lives, every day we see the black and white of the world. As Christians, I think we relish in following the rules. Shoot, as parents we want our children to follow the rules. But God’s love and mercy doesn’t always follow the rules. It challenges us to do what should be done. We call it ethics. As I read the news about many of the issues of the 21st century, like immigration, service to the poor, capital punishment, and bioethics, I see the beacon of light that is Pope Francis. He, along with God, are asking us to dive into the gray.

[Tweet “God’s love and mercy doesn’t always follow the rules.”]

Through thoughtful prayer, cultivate a deeper relationship with God and make the hard choices. Do what should be done, not for our glory, but for God’s. Let your witness match your words.

Kathryn Whitaker is married to Scott and together they have 6 awesome kids. She is a former public relations consultant turned freelance graphic designer who hails from the Lone Star state. You can find more about her here.

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