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February 1, 2020

Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man!”

That may have been a compliment if David had just done something praiseworthy. He had, unfortunately, just committed adultery with a woman and had her husband killed. Nathan’s problem is that David was a king; accusing kings of wrongdoing could be dangerous to one’s health. Nathan, however, started by telling David a pathetic story about a blatant injustice done a poor man, causing David to blurt out, “That man deserves to die!” That’s when Nathan pointed his finger at David, saying, “You are the man!”

There’s a lesson there for all of us. How do we strive to convince a person that he or she is wrong? By simply telling them that they are unjust, or crass, or prejudiced? Whatever the infraction, railing at persons and telling them that they are wrong seldom works. They have to see the nature of their thoughts or actions before they can ever be motivated to change.

We have a perfect example of how we should act in the way God treats us. Look at Jesus when confronted with a woman taken in adultery. The crowd wanted to stone her. Jesus simply said that he didn’t condemn her. We can only imagine that his kindness caused her to change her ways—far more than if he had given her a sermon about how evil she was.

And in the Eucharist, Jesus gives us an example of how he wishes us to treat one another. He invites us to his table. Are we all worthy? Who of us can claim that? Our own willingness to treat one another as brothers and sisters is the first step to reaching out in order to convince another of any wrongdoing.

How can I reach out to others with the Lord’s own kindness?

Let Us Pray:

O Lord, teach me to treat others with the same respect you have always shown me. May I never condemn anyone who thinks differently from me, and may each Eucharist help me to grow more like you.

 

Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)

 


About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.