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Speaking to the Soul: Do-Gooders

Speaking to the Soul: Do-Gooders

Week of 2 Easter, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 16, 17 (morning) // 134, 135 (evening)

Exodus 16:22-36

1 Peter 3:13-4:6

John 16:1-15

Our second reading this morning opens with a beautiful, optimistic, and naïve rhetorical question: “Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good?” The question seems to assume that good intentions and good deeds protect us from ever having enemies or encountering harm. If we’re eager to do good today, then who could possible do us wrong?

Many of us know from experience that eagerness to do good doesn’t fully protect us from criticism, from undermining, or from personal attacks. In fact, the passage itself also goes on to warn us about the possibility of suffering “for doing what is right.” But it also encourages us not to let fear or intimidation stop us.

The Scripture this morning invites us to start our day not by grabbing our protective shields or bearing arms, but by opening ourselves to the freedom and fearlessness of doing good. Yes, critics and saboteurs and enemies may oppose us, and suffering may find us. But imagine if we could still start each day in hope, innocence, and genuine astonishment that anyone would stand in the way of someone who is eager to do good.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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