Dear Friends,

Today we move into the liturgical season of “Ordinary Time.” Interestingly, we are launched into this season of the “ordinary” by the national remembrances of a most ‘extraordinary’ man, Martin Luther King, Jr. Or, perhaps,

we might say an “ordinary” man who lived his life in an “extraordinary” way. In our Gospel reading, we hear John the Baptist speak of Jesus as the “one who comes to take away the sins of the world.” Jesus, was in his own self-understanding as he began his ministry “an ordinary man”.... he preached a message of love and forgiveness, justice and peace. The “extraordinary” degree to which he lived this message is signified in his death on a cross.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s message was also one of loving and forgiveness, of the quest for justice and for peace. Among his many now famous speeches, is one written about Loving One’s Enemies. Here is an excerpt for our reflection:

“I am certain that Jesus understood the difficulty inherent in the act of loving one’s enemy. He realized that every genuine expression of love grows out of a consistent and total surrender to God. So when Jesus said “Love your enemy,” he was not unmindful of its stringent qualities. Yet he meant every word of it. Our responsibility as Christians is to discover the meaning of this command and seek passionately to live it out in our daily lives.

Let us be practical and ask the question, How do we love our enemies? First, we must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. It is impossible even to begin the act of loving one’s enemies without the prior acceptance of the necessity, over and over again, of forgiving those who inflict evil and injury upon us.

Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship.

Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning. It is the lifting of a burden or the cancelling of a debt. The words “I will forgive you, but I’ll never forget what you’ve done” never explain the real nature of forgiveness. Certainly one can never forget, if that means erasing it totally from his mind. But when we forgive, we forget in the sense that the evil deed is no longer a mental block impeding a new relationship.” (from the sermon “Loving Your Enemies” of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)


At The Spirit of Life, we are “ordinary” people striving to discover and to accomplish the “extraordinary” message of God’s love and call in each of our lives. We invite you to come and experience life in our community as we contemplate in prayer and move with justice at The Spirit of Life. Through our time of prayer and sharing together, we work together to grow in our self-understanding and in our relationships with God and with God’s people. We celebrate the gift of our faith and the responsibility that is ours as followers of Jesus Christ.  It is our prayer that what we as a community experience in our praying together will overflow into the rest of our lives, making us more fully human and more ‘whole’….holy!  We invite you to join us in this endeavor and journey with us as we seek to grow in our love of God and to grow in our capacity to be living expressions of God’s loving peace and justice in our world.

May you be blessed with the gift of finding the extraordinary love of Christ in the ordinariness of you lives.

Jean & Ron