Pentecost +12 - Year C
Refraining from doing harm unto others is hard work. It is much easier to simply cover over a time we snuck a little piece away from someone else with some penitential act. And, wouldn’t you know it, we will bargain for the cheapest possible penance as though our wounding of another doesn’t send ripples through the community beyond an original sin. Cheap penance never fully redresses the issue at hand, just as cheap grace never fully addresses a needed healing. Compensation plus more is a discounted possibility and changes to any structures that cause as much difficulty as individual acts is removed as an option.
This is an habitual pattern within which each generation grows. As such it carries much power.
To break this habit will take more and more folks doing well unto others until several generations have come and gone and a new way becomes the norm.
This is not a matter of following some external rule book that turns us into willing and obedient servants of this theocracy or that.
We know what is good: be fair, kind, and grounded. If we refuse to acknowledge and learn from these three, we remain stuck and sundered from one another and ourselves. This doesn’t take any external authority to make it more real than a reflection on what we would want done for ourself. This requires an acknowledgement that others won’t know that without our telling them, and so heightens the importance of mutual listening for what another has to say about how they would know they are being welcomed, honored, cared for.