The Liberal Catholic Universalist Church

Jenny Gray

February 20, 2021 | Jenny Gray

Reap what you Sow

As part of my Lenten discipline this year, I intend to write down some reflections that the readings from the Liberal Catholic Rite have brought to mind and I offer them in the hope that they might give some inspiration.

Acts 3 has St Peter saying, in the language of the Liturgy:

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord," and "God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."

These two lines taken together sum up the key question of how to live the life we're meant for, of how to advance spiritually. We have to see it in the context of two key themes of God's nature running through both holy scripture and any honest observation of reality – justice and mercy.

On the one hand, there is the belief that we reap what we sow, that all deeds get the reward they deserve. To an extent we see this in operation all the time. Do something nasty to someone and you'll get nastiness returned. Be kind to someone and you'll get kindness returned. This works beyond a simple exchange as perceptions of our actions spread in the community. Help someone today, and you set off a chain or a web of positive events in response that might one day return to you as help when you need it, like ripples growing in power as they expand, as more and more people take up the call and help each other in turn. Hurt someone today and you might end up being hit by the tidal wave as the consequences eventually return. Am I describing karma, or the justice of God, or the simple nature of causality in this reality we inhabit? Yes. I'm convinced they're all the same thing although I'm one of those who believe our death in this world isn't our end, so it's easier to see that there's no escaping the fruits of our actions.

On the other hand, there is the belief that our misdeeds can be blotted out. That God forgives. That karma can be changed despite its implacability. How can this be? It's easy to understand when you think about it. Karma, justice, consequences, these are our actions returning to us by causality. This applies to our good actions as well as our bad! The path is clear. We just have to start following it.