Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
I can become so inured to the idea of ‘loving’ others, that I lose sight of the love God has for each human being and then treat others with words and deeds that are less than loving and more damaging than kind. The two images of divine love from Matthew’s gospel in the reading today must inform, not only my own perception of how God loves me, but also how I am to love others, whether family, friends, acquaintances or strangers. With a child beside him, Jesus proclaims that children - no matter what their color, race, size, shape, or affiliation; attitude, character, personality or state in life - are greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus states clearly that when I welcome a child, or by extension an adult who is carrying their “Inner Child” within, I am welcoming Jesus himself. When I am ‘lost’ through my own wilfulness and wanderings, Jesus, who is himself a good Shepherd, goes to great lengths to bring me back into the folds of his nearer presence, where I belong. Will I join Jesus in cherishing others so much that I don’t just passively ‘love’ them, but actively seek out their lovely, whole, unique and complete beings by thought, word and action? Christ Jesus, teach me how you love each person.
The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also. (1 John 4:21)
Every child, every person needs to know that they are a source of joy; every child, every person, needs to be celebrated. Only when all of our weaknesses are accepted as part of our humanity can our negative, broken self-images be transformed.
Jean Vanier, Becoming Human
www.gospelmysteryoftheday.ca & Gospel Mystery of the Day on Facebook
Soli ad gloriam Dei
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.