Paul reminds us in the second reading that we are to owe nothing to anyone except to love one another. He says that all the commandments are summed up in the saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” He goes on to say that “love does no evil to the neighbor; hence love is the fulfillment of the law.” No matter how loving a community is, we are all human and prone to weakness. It’s when we feel fearful or threatened that we say things we’d rather not say. The call today is to look at our actions and our words, especially our words, and see whether those actions and words will bring evil or good to another. Maybe our question can be, when we find ourselves in a stressful or difficult moment: “what is the most loving thing I can do at this moment?” “will my next words build up or tear down my neighbor?”
I am preaching to myself in this as I can easily get drawn in to gossip or petty nonsense. Maybe we can help each other to only speak words that will build each other up. If we have issues with one person, let’s go to that person rather than others. As any group cans set up a “church” but Christ is calling us to be His beloved community: a community of disciples who love one another and continue to build each other up. As beloved disciples, we can call each other to our best selves. May Nativity continue to be a place of respect, honestly, integrity and deep compassion for one another.