By Jane Marrin
Webster’s Dictionary defines OASIS as “any place or thing offering welcome relief as from difficulty or dullness.” So, how do we offer this “welcome relief” to others during this Year of Mercy and beyond?
I would suggest we do it by our actions and our words.
As an individual, I need to remember that all people are made in the image and likeness of God. I should never judge others, but rather look for the positive gifts bestowed on them by our God. As a parish and/or diocese, we must truly embrace the concept that “all are welcome.” If individually, and collectively as parish and diocese, we can put aside our tendency to judge others by outward appearances, we can become an oasis.
Strangers, acquaintances and friends must all see by our body language, our words and our Christian actions that we indeed offer relief from difficulty and/or dullness.
During this Year of Mercy, may we let God’s love for us be a daily reminder of our need to show mercy, unconditional love, to one another. So perhaps we can try a few simple things:
- Smile at everyone.
- Speak to everyone.
- Shake hands, when appropriate.
- Share stories with those you meet.
- Seek out a stranger.
- The list can on and on …
These simple actions can lead to the start of our becoming an OASIS.
Marrin is chancellor of the Diocese of St. Cloud.