Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 356

Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

It is hard to speak of the Love of God today. While some people say they serve God, others insist they can serve other human beings without reference to God. Perhaps it’s more difficult to say, “I love God,” when one regards God as all-powerful, all-seeing, all knowing and infallibly wise. Such a God doesn’t need much love; he doesn’t even seem approachable. How do you get your arms around “all-powerful?”
This is where our Christian faith comes to life. God appeared to us in the person of Jesus as good (“all good, supreme good!”) but bereft of power and authority. His word, heard in conversations and arguments, astonished his disciples and silenced his opponents but didn’t have the power of chains, scourges, nails and crucifixion. In the end he was subject to political and religious authorities. The cross finally proved what his enemies suspected all along: he was frail, vulnerable and mortal.

But we saw his weakness as approachable and loveable. To love God is to love a man; and to love one’s fellow human beings truly one must love God. Jesus Christ is the way, the narrow door, through which we enter love with God and others.
In today’s first reading we hear the prayer of Tobiah and Sarah. After they have passed through the wedding ceremony but before entering the marriage bed, they consecrate their love to God. Tobiah insists that “I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose.”

In this 21st century, seeing the train wreck that marriage has become in a world that scorns even the existence of God, we should remember no human relationship can prosper or grow which is not grounded in the love of God. If you would love your neighbor -- or your child or your spouse -- as yourself, you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

1 comment:

  1. God is love. I first heard of this at a Tobit Retreat, an adaptation of Engagement Encounter. It was crafted by Friar Martin Wolter, OFM. Imagine that! A Franciscan talking to engaged couples about God is love.


I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

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