Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Oct. 25, 2020

Reflection for Oct. 25, 2020

The heart of the matter

Love is our highest call  and greatest gift to give

by Renae Bauer

“The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Mt. 22:40, conclusion of Sunday’s Gospel)

Loving God and loving others require me to do some deep soul searching each and every day.

  •  What does it mean to love God? What does it look like? Are my words, thoughts and actions pleasing to our loving God?
  •  I know who I love and who I don't. Maybe I even despise a person or a class of people. Do I judge their “sins” rather than see them as part of the Body of  Christ? How do I change my heart?


10/22/2020 12:30 pm

Deep questions for the heart, for sure. These are questions that call for conversion-of-heart, and repentance for the ways I have been haughty, holding myself in some measure of 'superiority,' while considering another or others as 'inferior.' I think this is the type of conversion Francis came to in his encounter with the leper. And I think it's why he could preach "repentance" as the fundamental, authentic message of the gospel -- because he actually KNEW what it meant -- from his own experience of it, and his life-long struggle with it, and daily commitment to it.

This gospel reading and your questions, Renae, ring so true to the needs of Our Times. During the hearings I witnessed, as Judge Amy Coney Barrett was being questioned, I kept wanting to find a way to whisper into her ear, into her heart --- "Remember JESUS, Amy -- he confronted and challenged those who spoke and taught only of the LETTER of THE LAW, while totally neglecting the SPIRIT of the LAW, just so they could appear to be 'superior' to others, and also pocket their money. The Spirit of GOD's Law is COMPASSION & LOVE -- don't you remember? What have we been doing with COMPASSION and LOVE? What have we been doing with TRYING TO UNDERSTAND OUR NEIGHBOR's REAL-LIFE PAIN & SUFFERING?"

I am so grateful that Pope Francis addressed some of this same kind of thinking in his most recent statements that say to us all:, "WE ARE ALL GOD's CHILDREN. EVERYONE BELONGS. EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO BE PART OF A LOVING, ALL-INCLUSIVE FAMILY THAT SUPPORTS and NURTURES EACH and EVERY ONE."

The pain of being excluded and alienated, called derogatory names, bullied, harassed, and intimidated is all TOO VERY REAL for TOO MANY PEOPLE -- including CHILDREN and YOUTH -- today. We all need a change-of-heart.

Thank you, Renae, for calling that out to us.

10/23/2020 7:41 am

It is just that simple. Each one of us is a perfect creation of God's love, divine beings having a human experience. Loving is our only calling.

Father Bill Jacobs
10/23/2020 8:14 am

Good Morning & thanks for your thoughts and especially for your probing questions. I've always thought that Mother Theresa said it best when she said, If there is Peace in our Hearts, there will be peace in our Family; peace in our friends; peace in our Community;etc........ Peace in our World. Insert the word "Love" for the word "Peace", and we capture some of our Lord's message today...

10/23/2020 8:21 am

Wow, Renae and Linda Thanks for the powerful words

Sister Rose Jochmann
10/23/2020 9:55 am

Challenging visual and questions. Thank you.

Cindi Brawner
10/23/2020 11:59 am

Renae, great photo and even greater questions. I personally struggle with them every day.

Bonita Kugel
10/23/2020 7:10 pm

God challenged me to love someone I vehemently did not want to love. It was hard and some days I failed. Today this person is a friend. Not just a friend but a blessing in my life. I am thankful every day for this challenge from God. Love is what God is all about.

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