Readings: Hosea 11:1-4, 8c-9; Matthew 10:7-15
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
I think monks and nuns can often labor under a burden of positive projection. Not from their own communities, of course, but from the neighbors and guests whom we serve–or just brush up against. We can be seen as kinder, wiser, nicer, more helpful than we–or any human being–can be.
If it’s not a heavy burden–who isn’t fueled by affirmation or appreciation?–it’s a particularly dangerous one. For everyone.
God forbid we begin to believe that we are what we are not! And God help the disillusioned neighbor or guest. God help us if we presume upon or abuse their trust!
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Let us at least do that: giving God’s mercy, God’s welcome; giving our God-given gifts and, most of all, transparently sharing our blessed limitations without any pretense.