Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another (τὸ αὐτὸ εἰς ἀλλήλους φρονοῦντες). Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble (τοῖς ταπεινοῖς συναπαγόμενοι, be led together by humble things). Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all people. If it is possible for you (εἰ δυνατὸν τὸ ἐξ ὑμῶν), live peaceably with all people.” (Rom 12: 15-18)

Let me recognize today that we’re all “in the same boat,” – is what St. Paul is saying to me in the first part of the above-quoted passage. I should not regard my own issues or vision as “higher,” or more important, than those of others in my vicinity, lest I fail to notice, or take seriously, their joys and their sorrows, and share in those. But I am not to share in any “evil” behaviour, into which another may have slipped; I am not to “repay evil with evil,” even if that may seem necessary to restore “peace.” As the Apostle indicates toward the end of this passage, I am to “live peaceably” with everyone, as far as it is “possible” within the parameters of “good things.”

Today let me accept the simple fact that I’m not the only one with issues, challenges, joys and sorrows, so that I can be a bit more present to others in my here and now. Lord, broaden my heart today, that I don’t live in my own head, but have the capacity and willingness to regard others as You regard all of us, with love, humility, patience, compassion, and mercy. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal 6: 2)