Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr
Readings: 2 Tm 2:22b-26; Ps 37:3-4, 5-6, 30-31; Jn 17:20-26
Notes: I chose the readings for the Doctors of the Church for the memorial. When adding the Franciscan reflection below, we can begin to see the need to abandon absolutism.
Absolutism is attractive for its clean lines of reasoning and the Church is infected by it.
Truth is discovery of self and the other in its purist form which, ironically, is found in the messiness of sharing the variety of human thoughts. It does not compromise the faith to internalize the thoughts of others and in matters of the common life we need broad acceptance of ideas.
A deep and genuine concern for other people will remind us that the discovery of truth is not to be a victory for some and a defeat for others. Unless all can claim a share in that victory, truth itself will continue to be rejected by the losers, because it will be regarded as inseparable from the yoke of defeat. And so, confrontation, controversy and the like might yield to a genuine united search for God’s truth and how it can best be served.
Pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord with purity of heart. Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know that they breed quarrels. A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, correcting opponents with kindness.
It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, and that they may return to their senses out of the Devil’s snare,
where they are entrapped by him, for his will.
The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
The mouth of the just man tells of wisdom and his tongue utters what is right. The law of his God is in his heart,
and his steps do not falter.
Remain in my love, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
“Holy Father, I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
Peace be with you,