Sunday, September 7, 2014

“One must love God first, and only then can one love one's closest of kin and neighbors”

How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, ... – Mother Teresa

Scripture Text: (ROM 13:8-10)
Brothers and sisters:
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery;
you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet, ”
and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this saying, namely,
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love does no evil to the neighbor;
hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

We all have to deal with people who try our patience or rub us the wrong way. Then there’s the pull of the world, urging us toward a self-centered approach to life. And all the time, we hear in the back of our minds Jesus telling us to love one another, even to prefer one another to ourselves.

In today’s readings from Mass, God is inviting us to do a little self-examination. How have you done lately in loving your neighbor as yourself? Think about hurtful things you may have said about another person. Think about ways you may have failed to defend a friend or judged someone unfairly. Or maybe you have neglected to help a friend who needed you because it was inconvenient.

These are uncomfortable questions to ask, to be sure. But God knows your heart. He knows how much you want to do good, even though you fail at times. He also knows that he has placed his Spirit in you to give you divine strength and to make changes that seem impossible. So don’t be afraid to open up to him and ask him to help you. Remember: God is love. And that love is generous and overflowing. Let him love you, and you’ll find yourself loving other people more and more.

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