Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor,
will himself also call and not be heard. (Proverbs 21:13)
A long quote for a title today, but so critically important. It is, in a sense, the predecessor to Jesus' statement, "Judge not lest ye be judged." It shows that there are certain spiritual laws, and among those is the law of reciprocation. What you mete out is what you can expect in return. Not because of revenge or pettiness, but because that is how the spiritual world is. It has laws, like the laws of physics that cannot be broken.
Time and time again in the Bible we are reminded of this spiritual truth: what you sow, you shall reap. We hear it said slightly differently sometimes, here as a caution, there as a truism, in this as a proverb. What we do ripples out, and because the world is a small place overall, it eventually comes back to you, reflected and returned.
These are hard truths. Of course, God's grace tempers all of these things. But only under extraordinary circumstances will God remit the consequences of our actions. Rather than count on the miracles of grace (a sin called presumption), it is better to think through what we are doing and do it in accord with God's will and God's laws. If love of God is not sufficient reason, perhaps enlightened self-interest is a good start. From there, God can move us toward love as we cooperate with His Grace. We start in obedience and end in love.
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church/Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne