November 8, 2017
St. Paul said, “‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.” Rom_13:8-10
Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. . . .
… everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.” Lk_14:25-33
We find in life that any endeavor that’s truly worth undertaking, requires a certain amount of dedication, perseverance, and obedience to the best practices of those who had come before us. This goes from figure skating to quilting, from mountain climbing, to marriage.
We make agreements of non-competition in employment contracts. We make agreements of fidelity in our marriage vows and promises of repayment of home mortgages. And in all those cases, if we want to be true to those endeavors, those professions, those vocations, if we want to keep ourselves from suffering the consequences of broken promises, we must have the integrity of dedication.
And it’s no different with our faith!
Jesus tells us that if we want to BE His disciples, we must have dedication, perseverance and obedience.
The obedience comes in our keeping of the “thou shalt not” Commandments of Moses, which St. Paul sums up, as Jesus did, with the single word, Love.
Love God, love your neighbor
and love yourself.
Because even if we might think that no-one on this planet cares about us, we know that God and every disciple of Jesus – does care. They care enough to call it – Love.
And that Love is more than just an emotion. It’s a deep, heartfelt BOND. A holy Communion. An Obedience to the Will of God.
To THAT Obedience we must be Dedicated, because just as laziness or shortcuts might plague the figure skater from doing her absolute best, so anger, jealousy and hatred will plague our Commitment to Love.
And against all of these and other temptations, even insidious competition for that love by relatives, or material keepsakes, or bodily comfort, we must Persevere in our Love for Jesus, if our goal is the eternal salvation that He promises; if we are to BE His disciples.
And to put all of that in a nutshell, Jesus’ exaggeration of hating parents and renouncing possessions, that people like St. Francis took to heart, simply meant: that we prioritize our Love for God, our Love for neighbor (even our enemies) and our Love of ourselves above all the distractions in life that want to steal that love away from us.
It simply meant putting God, putting Love above EVERYTHING!
It just reminded me of an old Marvin Gaye song that went something like this (with a little different conclusion):
“There ain’t no mountain high enough,
Ain’t no valley low enough,
Ain’t no river to wide enough,”
To keep me from loving you, Jesus!
Let’s let that Love just saturate our lives beloved, so that when they look at us, they will be seeing Him!
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