In today's Gospel Jesus speaks his famous lines (which are right out of the old testament) on which of the Commandments are the greatest. A lot of people get confused because these are not two of the "heavy ten" that Moses carried down from the mountain. In Jewish law there are hundreds of commandments to follow not merely the 10 we always point to. So Jesus picks two out. The first one is well known from Leviticus but the second one is a rather obscure reference and he thus turns those listening on their heads when he reports it. Interestingly, we often forget about the response of the person who asked him the question to begin with. He says that Jesus is right and it seems that he is following these directives. Jesus tells him that he is not far from the Kingdom of God. Loving God with all of our being and then loving others as we love ourselves is tough stuff. I find it hard to love others well...especially those who make it hard to love them. Loving co-workers after you've had an argument or disrespected you is essentially our call. Loving my wife when I don't feel like it because I'm grumpy in the morning calls me to examine how I'm too self-involved in those wee hours. How can we more appropriately love God better..with our whole being though? This strikes me of being the stuff that's more difficult. Don't I ignore God until it's convenient for me to ask for His intercession or until He hits me with a two by four and wakes me up to realize I need him and I'm not all powerful? We all like to make ourselves into Gods. We have all the answers, we know what's best for us and we control our own destinies. Hogwash. Jesus reminds us that we need God and that we are called to serve. Today's prayer: Lord, Help me realize that I am vulnerable and need you in my life and help me begin to notice your presence more within those who make it hard for me to love them. Amen.
Your humble blogger is Mike Hayes, a well-known expert in the world of young adult ministry (20s and 30s) in the Catholic Church. Mike is the author of Googling God (Paulist, 2007) where he explores both the chaotic world that young people live in and their religious reactions to that world. He also explores the age of instant gratification and how churches can respond to the needs of the young adult age by using technology alongside more traditional ministry methods.
Mike founded the award winning BustedHalo.com® in 2001 and continues to contribute to it as the editor of their catechetical section appropriately named Googling God.
Recently, he left BustedHalo® to focus on more direct ministry with young people at St Joseph University Parish as a Campus Minister for the South Campus at the University at Buffalo.
He has only two loves: his adorable wife, Marion and a nine pound chihuahua named Haze, who still find him amusing enough to let them live in their home.