It's Them Against Us
I don't know, but I do know that "they" take "our" parking spots, sit in "our" regular seats, cause additional "unnecessary" planning, use the wrong responses (not "ours"), etc.
"And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." - John 12: 32
Siblings of the Prodigal
When I read the parable of the Prodigal Son, it's always comforting to see myself as the returning Prodigal, knowing that my Father is always more than ready and willing to accept me and embrace me, giving me so much more than I deserve. But then, there's that brother of his. He's perfectly content with his life and all that his father has given him, until he sees his father celebrating the return of his wayward, "lost" but now "found" prodigal brother.
Sadly, I remember some of my spiritual "siblings", making remarks or comments that I found hurtful. What those were or who made them is insignificant. However, this Prodigal felt "drawn" back to Jesus despite not being a CAPE or even a Chreaster. Yes, I had really been lost for a very long time, and I'm not sure that I would have allowed myself to be embraced by my Father without some others who were able to cooperate with Him, helping me to feel welcomed and a part of the "family" again. It's true that there was much work to be done in order to mend the broken "family" relationships, but I am thankful for those who helped me to feel welcomed again.
So it especially hurts me when I recognize that I may not have always extended the same welcome to others. Even if I didn't verbalize such unwelcoming thoughts or feelings, the fact that I thought or felt them lends itself to conviction that I did not act or speak in a manner that would make my "siblings" feel welcomed. How sad that I can ever be "that guy", that sibling.
"Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me." - Matthew 25: 45
Capes for the CAPES
This post is my reminder to myself, and perhaps to you as well, that God is drawing our "siblings", brothers and sisters to Himself. In order for them to feel welcomed, to begin their own mending, I...we...have to cooperate with our Father. That can begin with recognizing that "they" are part of "us" and "our" spots are "their" spots, and "our" responses in the Liturgy are the responses prescribed for our participation in God's work, thus they are His anyway.
After all, God has a cape for every brother and sister.
cape - part of a garment that fits closely at the neck and hangs over the shoulders;
Like a hug
cape - probably from Spanish capa (cloak), from Late Latin cappa (head covering);
Like being cloaked (covered) with the Blood of the Lamb or crowned with the Crown of Salvation
cape - a point or extension of land jutting out into water;
Like "HE drew me out of the deep waters" - Psalm 18: 17
All are welcomed
...There is no one, however wicked and guilty, who may not confidently hope for forgiveness, provided his repentance is honest. Christ who died for all men desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin. - Catechism 982