Reflection for the Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

Scriptures tells us” God’s ways are not man’s ways.” The first reading in today’s liturgy, from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel,  is a variation on the theme. We live in a society, a culture that bombards us with false standards of evaluating ourselves and other people.               Television tells us over and over that you will know a successful person by a car he or she drives, by their clothes and hairstyles, even the toothpaste  they use and the beverages they drink. We tend to rate a person’ s life as successful according to their profession, their job status, their education, their celebrity status. God doesn’t have a Madison Avenue point of view. In the first reading he tells us that he takes a poor , fragile shoot of the tree, plants it in the soil of his holy mountain and it flourishes. The great beautiful trees he wipes out.          What is God’s way of counting our lives as successful? First and foremost is the question of love. Do you love God? Do you love yourself?do you love all of the people in your life? That’s all that God  is interested in. That is the only success in life -to love well. The best indication we can have that we truly love God is that we pray on a daily basis.          Do you love yourself? This can be a hard thing to know. Self-love is the very opposite of selfishness and self-centeredness. Probably a good indicator of the tight kind of self-love is a certain honesty about ourselves, and a sense that I am no better or worse than any other human being.       Do we love the people in our lives? Probably the best indicator of love of neighbor is our refusing to judge them. God helps those who do not try to do his job, and judgment in God’s exclusive right. We need to make judgment about our own and other persons’ actions whether they are good or evil. But how guilty anyone is, and of what they do, only God knows. Love of neighbor is a frame of heart and mind, of wanting only good for another person. Again, we have an infallible indicator that we love another person – that is, we pray for that person.            To love God, to love ourselves, and to love our neighbor is to seek the kingdom  of God and its fullness. Of this we are all capable , the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, the educated and the illiterate. And the best news is that God does not judge us on how well we do any of these things but rather on how honestly and sincerely we long to do them. To want to love God is to love God, and the same holds true for self and neighbor. There is great peace in the lives of all who want- and indeed strive to love.God bless you all!Fr. DominicYour brother in Christ 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *