Mission Blog: Nurturing Our Relationships
Humans are not meant to be alone; we are made for relationships. We live together in community, where we immerse ourselves into a collective way of life. Mostly, we live in the world in the way that suits us, although sometimes there are concessions and trade-offs required because love is larger and more enduring than convenience.
This is how we negotiate the world and most often how we know that love exists in the world. Since some of this love flows towards us, we know we are loved and forgiven, residing in someone else’s heart. No one is alone, we have companions on the journey who travel with us as we traverse life’s daring adventure. Scripture tells us that we can be happy as human beings because we have someone to love, something to do and something to hope for.
Someone to love
In the Catholic faith, our first relationship is with God, whose divine Son, Jesus, was made man. The miracle of the incarnation Jesus, God’s own Son, means that we are in a relationship with every other human being made in the image of God: our family, friends, and the stranger we welcome into our home or country. Many of us also love the ideas of beauty, truth, and goodness. This planet we call home, great works of art, music, and literature, all build us into better human beings.
Something to do
Many of us have to-do lists that seem to get longer even as we tick off completed tasks. However, sometimes it’s the unending tasks, that keep us frazzled and frenetic rather than slowing down to think through what is most important. As we continue to navigate the pandemic, many of us have been forced to redefine our priorities as we tread new and creative pathways to make meaning of life.
Ultimately, our something to do is about a purposeful engagement in work or a venture that moves us beyond the confinements of self. “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:11). God has asked us to trust and hope in Him and this gives us great comfort.
Something to hope for
In our Christian understanding, we believe in life everlasting. We believe in the hope offered by the Resurrection. We are a people of hope, and we need to kindle this more than ever in these dark days of despondency and gloom. Moreover, we need to share our light with others, be it small and flickering. We cannot allow the dark to overpower our light.
We need to keep on loving
Good relationships are founded on generosity. We must find and encourage the best in others, always preferring the positive over the negative. There must be a healthy dose of reality and a good dose of laughter. We provide others with a rich drizzling of compassion and a good supply of empathy. We must be wise enough to know when to say or do something and when to not.
Human beings are flawed, and we sometimes let each other down, sometimes just through small, accumulated hurts which grow. We need to rid ourselves of these before they ruin something that is good. Let’s talk it out, forgive each other and examine our actions and attitudes. Let’s consider how we can realign them to enable respectful relationships to flourish.
We need to keep on bringing out the best in others. In so doing, our whole community is strengthened. May we be encouraged by the thought that the good relationships we are building now in faith and life will shelter and nurture those who come after.
Jilly Landers | Director of Mission