31st Week in Ordinary Time

 

Anticipate one another in showing honor.

 

Jesus tells us to love one another, and who could argue with that?   Even children would tell you it’s best to “be nice” to one another. But that’s not particularly specific.   In today’s first reading (Romans 12:10), though, Paul gives us some practical ideas about how to put love into action.   Let’s zero in on one of his suggestions:   “Anticipate one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10).

What does it mean to “show honor” to another person?   Think of a time when, perhaps, you’ve written a sympathy note.   You assure the bereaved person of your prayers, but you probably also share a memory that honors the deceased:   “I’ll never forget the coffee cake she brought over to welcome us to the neighborhood.”   “I never heard him complain about his health challenges.”   “She had such a radiant smile every time she gave me Communion.”

Sharing memories like these is definitely one way to honor someone.   But writing a note like this might also make you wish you had spoken your words of appreciation before the person passed away.   And that’s the point!   Honoring doesn’t have to wait for a special occasion.   In fact, you likely have many informal opportunities to honor someone every day.

A teacher might point out good qualities he sees in a student:   “You’re always the first one in your seat with your book open, ready to begin class.”   A mother might tell her child, “Your grandma makes the best Easter cake.   I always enjoy watching you decorate it with her.”   A young adult might tell her younger cousin, “I know you feel shy sometimes.   But I loved the way you introduced yourself to that new person and helped him feel comfortable at the party.”

It isn’t always easy to compliment someone else, especially someone who rubs you the wrong way.   But with a little bit of prayer and reflection, you’ll be able to find some admirable quality to point out.   It’s a blessisng for that person, and it’s a blessing for you too!

Honoring others takes our focus off ourselves.   That’s what love in action looks like.   So be on the lookout today.   Is there someone you can lift up?

“Lord, teach me how to treat people with honor today.   Open my eyes and my heart to the goodness in them.”

Psalm 131:1-3
Luke 14:15-24

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