Good morning. A couple of thoughts are rambling through my head this morning. First, today is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. If you’re able, get to Mass and honor what is considered the birth of the Catholic church…if not, go to Today’s readings
I would also recommend reading Jn 21:15-19. This is the passage where Jesus asks Peter “Do you love me?”. After reading this, go to the foot notes that further describe what is going on this passage – I’ve always found those interesting and helpful.
Second, just before Lent started, Sarah forwarded me a 30 day challenge hosted by Chris Stefanic. I am on Day 9 of the “Rise” challenge. Its purpose is similar to my goal with this blog. It is challenging myself and other men to become stronger in Christ and be better husbands, fathers and friends. Today’s topic hits really close to home and I’m going to challenge written…the following was not penned by me, but again, hits very close to the mission of this website.
Our life begins, ideally, with the free gift of love from a mother and father, then broadens into a band of brothers and sisters (either in the immediate family or through the life of our community). Our brothers and/or male friends, like our fathers, are like mirrors into which we look for the reflection of what masculinity is, and how we live it. Sometimes the reflection is clear and encouraging, sometimes it’s distorted, blurred or broken.
In our hyper-sexualized culture, we hear ridiculous words like “bromance” and “man-crush”, and we may turn away in fear from a man’s fundamental need for friendship with other men. Sadly, for various reasons, we live a more isolated life. The truth is, men need other men from whom we learn the craft of masculinity. We need brothers to journey with to understand the mystery of becoming a man, of our unique work in the world, our vocation and of our call to care for and cultivate life with our sisters.
Being a brother is about sincerity and faithfulness, not bravado or competitiveness. Brothers are attentive to the people around them. For other men, they build up relationships. Brothers are called to inspire, defend and encourage one another. Walls to protect in times of trouble, and to lean against in times of struggle.
Brothers are called to cultivate and care for the shared life of their sisters. There is a powerful attractiveness to a man who is known as a brother to every woman, seeing her as a true sister in a common humanity. Life is our task to promote and protect; for each person is made from the same clay, loved by the same Father and worthy of honor, respect, love. How would it change your view of women (and femininity) if you acted first as their brother, and looked on them first as your sister? How would it change your view of other men (and masculinity) if you acted first as their brother, instead of a competitor or someone to impress?
Challenge for all:
Jesus is our brother. He could have only been our distant king, but chose also to be a brother “who calls us friends.” And then he went even further. He was a Servant Leader who taught us to wash our brother’s feet. So we too must love and serve our brothers in simple ways.
Take time to serve someone today in a hidden way at work, or school, or among your family members or friends. Be sure nobody sees what you’ve done. You could pick up those towels on the floor, put away the cereal boxes, clean up the break room at work. Or even pay anonymously for the car behind you at a drive-through. Serve in sincere love since you too have been served (and saved) by Love.
Please take some time out of you schedule – not matter how busy you are – to thank God for all that you have. We are all blessed and we should all take a little time to appreciate that fact.