Reflection for Sunday November 4th, 2012. 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time.
See ‘Mass Readings’ for this Sunday, on Home Page.
Dear Sinead and Mark,
“Spot on! Bingo! You got it in one! You got straight to the heart of things, there!”
Isn’t it nice when someone says that to you? Well, meet someone who got that very response from the Master when he gave his answer to Jesus. The Scribe or learned man (in today’s Gospel from Mark 12) was told that he wasn’t far from the kingdom of God,- that he was indeed Spot On in his understandings.
‘To love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength’ –that is indeed the first and greatest commandment to live by. And ‘to love your neighbour as your self’ goes with it. Both contain the whole of the Law, -the whole understanding of the first things in life.
But where does this come from? It’s because we are called to RETURN LOVE FOR LOVE! It’s not we who loved God first, but it is God, our Creator, who loved us first, and loves us to the end of infinity!! ‘God is love!’ cries St. John in his First Letter.
Have you met somebody yet who loves you to bits, and is ‘crazy’ about you? I hope you have. Someone who runs wildly towards you with open arms, and you run even faster towards him or her!
If we do not experience being loved, we shrivel up completely. We need to know that we matter deeply to Someone! And with our Creator, we matter infinitely,- with a love that is so high, so wide, so deep, so long that we will never fully know or understand it! Isn’t it fantastic to know that we have such a Creator!
To live in love is to be like a fish swimming in the sea- it’s the sea that holds it and enables it to be alive from fin to gills!
And humans live with oxygen: without it we die. It’s all around us and within us. We live in it.
And we live our lives loved to the gills! Because, Who loves us? Our Maker/Creator/ Higher Power/’God’/ Heavenly Father,- whatever name you have for this great mystery and Person. ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love, and I am constant in my affection for you! (Jeremiah 31:3 ). Why? Because ‘God is love‘ (1 John 4:8) Each of us is loved since before any Big Bang! ‘Your heavenly Father knows the number of hairs on your head!’ (Matthew Chapter 10)
If you gave me just one verse of Scripture to take to a desert island, I would choose verse nine from the 15th chapter of St. John’s Gospel: ‘The way my Father loves me, that is how much I love you! Live in my love!’, said Jesus.Think how wide, high, deep, and long the Father’s love is for Jesus. As wide and deep and high and long as God! And that’s how we are loved too, -up to our neck in it, over our heads in it, too wide for us ever to cross it!
We are simply called to Return Love for Love! Hear a voice inside you saying: ‘Be loved, Beloved!’
Thanks be to God, who is crazy about us with a most excessive love! St. Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Redemptorists and one of the greatest writers of the 18th Century, often spoke of God in Italian as ‘Pazzo per amore eccessivo’- ‘crazy with excessive love! So ‘excessive’ that he sent us his only Son. And at the very heart of a lifetime of writing was this phrase,- ‘Return love for love!’ That’s living!
Live in it! Breathe it! Swim in it! Enjoy it!
(P.S. If you like it, telll your friends. If you don’t, ‘keep your breath to cool your porridge!’ Ta! Fr.S)