(image from the internet)


There is a sickness that afflicts the world today, and it is worse than the corona virus.


It is a sickness that attacks not the body, but the mind, the attitude, and the heart.


It is more than just bias against persons, discrimination against groups, or marginalization of sectors in society.


This sickness is called “exclusion.”


To have biases, to discriminate or to marginalize people is bad; it sees other people as different from us and therefore threatening and dangerous.


But to exclude is even worse; it does not see the other person anymore. It does not consider that the other exists; they simply vanish, they are thrown away like garbage.


Today’s first reading (Is. 56) speaks to the heart of the law-abiding Jews. They love the Lord, they obey his laws, they avoid sin.


However, the Lord tells them that outside of their group, there exists “foreigners” who “love the name of the Lord and become his servants” too.


Though they are not part of their community, they must be accepted, respected, and welcomed because the house of the Lord is “a house of prayer for all peoples.”


God’s heart does not exclude. His heart includes every single one of his children, no matter how different, no matter how imperfect, no matter how sinful.


His mercy shines on all of us as St Paul says to the Romans (Rm 11).


The Lord Jesus in the Gospel teaches us that at times, the people we tend to exclude have faith greater than we do (Mt 15), and so we have no right to judge that others must be ignored and cast away.


Isn’t it true that when we go out of the house, we do not “see” other people because they are excluded from our circle, or beyond the scope of our attention?


The janitor in the office, what do you know about him aside from his name? The security guard at the gate, do you ever greet him? The vendor delivering goods at your doorsteps, do you care to smile and thank her?


And closer to home, do you pay attention or speak to the family member who irritates you the most? Who hurt your feelings? Who brought shame to the family? Who has grieved you through his inconsiderate actions or words?


Do you have a heart that includes people, knowing that you have received mercy from the Lord though you too are a sinner?


Or do you keep people at a distance, avoid meeting them on the road, or exclude them totally from your life because they are not worth your attention?


Let us pray that as we have received mercy, we will learn to accept others following the will of the heavenly Father and the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.


pls share with a friend…