In the first reading today from Colossians 1 and 2, St. Paul says, “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake…” This tells us two things: suffering can bring joy (rejoicing) and suffering can be offered up for the sake of others.
In the Gospel reading from Luke 6, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the sabbath. The scribes and Pharisees are watching closely. So Jesus asks them, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” He heals the man, and the scribes and Pharisees become enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus. This always reminds me of the old axiom No good deed goes unpunished.
Often when Jesus did good things, it made a lot of people angry. But He did good anyway. In honor of today’s Gospel reading, I want to share a poem with which you may be familiar. It is said to have been on the wall of Saint Mother Teresa’s room. Enjoy it!
Mother Teresa’s Anyway Poem
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
Father, we ask for the grace to persevere in our good works, even if others are put off. Help us to do good because you ask us to. Amen.