Next week begins Holy Week, so I hope you saved something in your Lenten tank. Like good distance runners, you need something left for that final kick to glory.
Children learn at a very small age about exclusion. Brothers exclude sisters and sisters exclude brothers. As children get older they learn about cliche’s and clubs, and not being invited to birthday parties. As a parent, one of the most difficult things we encounter is trying to console a child who experiences exclusion in whatever form it takes.
It doesn’t get easier as we grow older, for life is full of exclusion, some of the cruelest forms of exclusion being labeling.
Jesus, Muhammed, Buddha, etc. all knew that true humanity is lived out in a community, and that a community that makes it a practice of excluding by using labels and exile is a broken community.
This Lent it is a worthwhile exercise to examine oneself and ask, “How have I shaped my own community?” Do I measure people in ascending and descending categories of worth and value? Ask yourself, “ How do I create a community that gives up our labeling compulsion, and in which all people are brought together in peace and respect, in wholeness and healing?”