It is my hope in the next year, to learn more about who St Francis de Sales was so I can try to practice some of the virtues he taught. By now you have surely noticed the amazing new banner hanging outside our church. This beautiful piece of artwork, created by Br. Mickey McGrath proudly shouts St Francis’ motto all over 96th St: “LIVE JESUS!”
Two simple words that will take a lifetime to understand, I think.
What does it mean for us to LIVE JESUS now in the 21st century? What does it mean to LIVE JESUS here in the midst of the city, at the crossroads of El Barrio and the Upper East Side? What does it mean to LIVE JESUS in whatever your current circumstances are? What does St Francis mean by those simple words: LIVE JESUS!?
I can only begin to tweeze these words apart to begin to understand them. I imagine this has something to do with letting the very heart of Jesus message of love and compassion for others begin to become part of the very fabric of my being, of my everyday life, of the way I approach the world around me.
It has to mean too, that on a very basic level I need to get to know who Jesus was/is so I can adopt his way of life and incorporate his virtues into myself. As much as that sounds like a tall order, maybe the way I can best begin is to think about those qualities of Jesus that I most admire and start, one at a time, to make them a part of who I am.
So I think I will start with how accepting Jesus was of others. He didn’t judge folks, he listened to them in love and invited them to follow him and get to know his Father’s love. I would really love to be more accepting and less judgemental of others. That’s where I’m going to start. What about YOU? Where will YOU start? (No judgement there, just a pretty direct invitation!)