From the gospel for this coming Sunday:
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
‘love your neighbor as yourself.’
That’s all. Simple as that. Yet we know only too well how challenging it can be to follow those two commandments in reality, in everyday life. Who is my neighbor? And how well do I love myself? Love God, even when all seems lost?
This Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of the arrival of Hurricane/Super storm Sandy in our part of the world. There are still people waiting to get back in their homes, and others trying to rebuild lives after losing everything. Recent storms and wildfires of gigantic proportions remind us of the fragility of life and the need for community in times of calamity and danger. It is enough to severely challenge our ability for the faith, hope and charity that are the basis of our life as people of God and followers of Jesus.
God’s love, flowing through us, gives more than any one of us could ever imagine on our own. Our prayers and our generosity, which may seem so insignificant and useless, become powerful agents for change when combined with those of others in our community and beyond. We are never alone.
Let us pray:
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Peace and Blessing,