The Awesome Truth
A Reflection for the week of October 24th based on the readings from Sunday October 23rd
By Rev. Bob Johnnene OFD Franciscans Divine Mercy/ Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus
Sometimes the Readings from Scripture are, in the words of the young, Awesome!.
Think about it, when Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was he replied, “You shall love the Lord, Your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments”.
It would appear on the surface that to follow that commandment would be easy.
Then we look at what we are asked to do. “Love God with all our heart.” All? But the heart is such a small organ and I need to keep room for my family and friends. How can I give ALL my heart?
The answer is easy, when you realize that each of the persons you want room for in your heart are living examples of Almighty God.
They were created in God’s image and likeness and in loving them you are loving God.
Love God with all your soul? Just exactly where is my soul?
Science has never identified it, no X-ray ever shows it, Do I have a soul? Again the answer is easy.
Your soul is the feeling of compassion you extend to those who are less fortunate than you are. Your soul is that feeling deep down when you seek God because deep down, in that unseen recess of your being, there is an empty feeling. Your soul is that unknown attraction that draws you toward others, the feelings of joy, love, sadness, elation all emanates from deep within you.
In the first reading of today (Exodus 12:20-26) we are even given directions on some of the ways we might express our love for God. We are told “You shall not molest or oppress anyone”. Anyone! According to the dictionary the word MOLEST means: “to annoy, interfere with, harm, to assault or attack, to engage in nonconsensual sexual relations.”
In other words, to have respect for the dignity of every one of God’s Children. I wonder if those pedophile priests or the people who killed Matthew Shepherd or those who would deny people the Gay and Lesbian community the same rights as every other person ever read that passage and if they did how they can claim they are believers and followers of Jesus Christ.
There are so many, many ways that we can express our love of God in heart, mind and soul if we only think about it. One good step toward that objective would be to accept ourselves as God created us, to begin to love the gifts we have been given and not always desire to be other than the person God created. We can begin to examine how we can use the gifts God has given us not for our own glory and edification, but for the greater honor and glory of God.
We can start looking for the God in others and not always look for the worst in people.
It is not easy, but, like the old adage says “You cannot have the beauty of the rose without having some thorns in your life”
May Almighty God grant each of us a greater appreciation of ourselves as He created us, and instill in our hearts a more compassionate understanding of all His Children. Amen.