When we consider God’s law, we discover that along with God’s justice, there is something more: Love. St. Paul writes: “Love is the fulfillment of the law.” Jesus’ life is the fulfillment of the Law because He paid the sacrificial price of His Life to make it possible for us to be united with Him—with Love—forever.
Just as Jesus loves us, we too are called to love God with all of our minds, our hearts, and our souls, and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. What does it mean to love our neighbor? It means that we have an obligation to pray for our family members, for our friends, and especially for those who cause problems or are difficult to love. We also have an obligation to fraternally correct others. If we witness a fellow Catholic who is not living according to the teachings of the Church, or someone who is doing something seriously or morally wrong, then we must lovingly remind this person of the truth and gently encourage this person to go to confession and return to follow God’s commandments. Sometimes, for certain reasons it is not always possible to speak with the person. In this case, we can pray in his or her intention. In addition, if we see someone doing something wrong, then we may acknowledge that his/her actions are wrong and provide fraternal correction, but we must not judge the person’s heart. For, only God truly knows the heart and the intentions of each person.
God commands us to love, and He gives us the grace to love if we ask Him for this. I would like to encourage each of you to offer Jesus your weaknesses and sins in the area of loving your neighbors and ask Him for the grace to see others through His eyes and look upon them with love.
As I end this reflection, I would like to acknowledge and thank in a special way our Director of Youth Ministry, Arielle Joaquin, for her service and witness to Christ’s love to the youth of our parish for the past five years. Arielle’s gentle presence, faith, and dedication have had a profound impact on the lives our youth. Thank you, Arielle, for all that you have done to bring our beloved middle and high schoolers closer to Jesus Christ and His Church. You will be missed.
Yours in Christ,
Readings for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 127Tags: #arthurmarat, #fatherarthurmarat, #olw, #olwparish, #reflection