The company we keep has a strong influence on our freedom. Because we are "social animals," as Aristotle maintains, those closest to us can either aid our freedom to achieve the good or constrain us towards evil. King Herod ignored this reality and was constrained to kill the only source of Light available to him. Even King David ignored this, and isolated himself from those who could have held him accountable. Jesus calls his disciples to resist becoming isolated or keep "bad company." Instead, he calls his disciples to communion with him and with one another, to reflect their Creator, who is a United Community, in a world divided by sin. Aquinas, in commenting on the "virtue of affability," asserts that this is a requirement of justice: that disciples owe one another the "joy of fellowship," that they may be strengthened in the life of grace and mission in the world. As Lent draws near, what will you do to prepare for adjustments? What changes are needed in the company you keep?
-Given at Cor Jesu (St. Mary's Chapel, St. Paul Seminary) on February 7, 2020.