Year A - Ash Wednesday or Self-Recognition Day
March 5, 2014
Try this: the opposite of hypocrisy is reconciliation.
Pretending to be something one is not does have the potentially redeeming factor of a recognition of who one would like to be. This can at some point be built upon to move in that direction in actuality, not just fantasy. Hypocrisy is not an out-and-out lie.
Not only do we seldom deal with an ideal falsehood, but we seldom deal with some universal truth or righteousness. Reconciliation lives in the imperfect world but chooses the slightly better as a step toward even more better.
While it is comforting to consider that a full-blown righteousness is within our grasp, we are more realistically always in a process moving toward greater reconciliation with ourselves and others. Simply acknowledging we are living in a gray zone and hopefully moving toward a healthier, wholer way is a helpful move.
Intending to put no burden on another is a wonderful intention even if it doesn’t work out that way. Paul’s list of his endurances does become a burden for those of us who may be able to deal with an affliction or two but not for dishonor or beatings. How can we live up to Paul’s level of commitment much less Jesus’? Reconciliation will lie between so we can take one step further while holding our integrity of our particular experience and gifts.