August 12, 2015
(St. Jane Frances de Chantal)
Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.” Mt 18:15-20
Jesus told us to “Love our neighbor.” But you know what, sometimes we might ask ourselves, “Just who is our neighbor?” And “What, exactly, does love mean?”
God broke it down for Moses and the Israelites, and for us – to help clarify exactly – who we are supposed to love and how we are to show that love.
He said: We are to love God.
And we show that love:
– by not worshiping other gods,
– by respecting God’s holy Name, and
– by dedicating our Sundays to God.
And then, we are also supposed to love our neighbor, who in essence,
is everyone. And we do that:
– by respecting our parents,
– by not killing or committing adultery,
– by not stealing or lying,
– by not coveting people and
– by not being jealous or envious
of other people’s stuff.
It’s funny, because even after all of those Commandments, we still needed more details. I think we were just looking for excuses. We were just looking for loopholes . . Because, in the book of Leviticus, Moses and God go on to describe some 600 additional laws and rules to help the people understand what Love really means.
Sometimes it’s so easy for us to look for the loopholes in order to justify, in order to rationalize our sins . . . the sins we commit against God, and the sins that offend other people.
And why do we do this?
Well, we mostly do it, so that we can put ourselves in the place of God.
WE – have to – have the power.
WE – have to – know it all.
WE – have to – prove ourselves better than others, and better than God.
It’s exactly what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden.
It’s what Satan craves for us to do. It’s what he manipulates, and entices and deceives us with . . . Because he knows that without God we truly have NO defense against him.
You see, even mighty Moses, fell into the trap. For when God had asked Moses to bring forth water from a rock in order to show the Israelites that God was still present in their midst, Moses forgot to give that Credit to God, and instead, took it for himself. But what Moses forgot, that was even worse, was that God was present all along. And God didn’t look very lightly on the error that Moses made.
So just as Adam and Eve had to suffer the consequences of their sin, by the loss of The Paradise they already had, Moses would also have to suffer the consequence of his sin, by never reaching the Paradise that God had promised, after enduring 40-years of suffering in the desert.
It just reminds us of the importance of always staying faithful to God, being steadfast in our faith. Unfortunately it’s not always that easy, especially when that horsefly, Satan, constantly hovers around our heads.
And that’s exactly why Jesus said, “wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there am I.”
You see, brothers and sisters, we need Jesus to strengthen us.
And we need one another, just as much, to assure His presence.
Moses had millions of Israelites gathered together because of God. And yet, isolated, Moses still forgot.
Today we have billions of Catholics gathered around the world, united in the Name of Jesus. And yet, how many of us still forget that God is right here with us – because we’ve allowed ourselves to become isolated from one another?
Together, and with Jesus, we will make just decisions.
Together we will correct and strengthen each other.
And Together we will form that Eternal Union with God our Father, that will never be broken.
THAT’s the promise of Jesus!
And that’s the promise of LOVE!
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