In today’s Gospel we hear of the two Great Commandments (from here: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/102614.cfm):
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (MT 22: 37-40)
I often fail at both. The Church often fails at both. One thing I admire in Francis is his insistence on the Second commandment. We should love our neighbor, not judge our neighbor. We should be open to others.
The Why of this second commandment is the First – can’t have the second without the first. Loving God to me is easy and hard at the same time for I let myself come between us – my pride, my will. Most of us do. The Church is a place of encountering the Lord. It is also not a place. It is a communion of people. The questions are – is everyone a member because we are all created by God; Are we a member because of baptism?; Are we members because we choose to be (hopefully not making it an exclusive Club)? I think the answer is all of the above but I don’t know for sure. I take it on faith that the Lord loves us all but I also know that we don’t all love the Lord. Many don’t know Him. Many know Him and reject Him. Many love Him and abuse Him. I would put myself in this latter category but He still loves us. He forgives. Do we love like Him?
Therefore, the Church is and must be open to all. But, should the Church compromise itself in its mission to make disciples of all? What is worth dying for when standing firm about who God, Christ and the Spirit are? Is it worth dying to say same-sex marriage is wrong? Is it worth dying for to say that if you remarry you are in a permanent state of adultery? Is it worth dying for to say Christ said Love God with all your Heart, soul and mind as the greatest commandment? I think they are. For over 2000 years, others have thought so. I think that is what Bishops and priests vow to do. They vow to stand firm in the faith so that they can be rocks for the rest of us. This is especially needed in these confusing times.
So today, I pray and implore the Blessed Mother that she help us find answers to these questions. That she inspire clarity and strength of teaching that is consistent with the Father’s will. That she inspire us all with the courage to be ready to die for God and to protect us from those who seek our spiritual and physical deaths. Let’s pray the Rosary to implore her help in these confused times. Mary, Mother of God, Mary Most Holy – pray for us.
Rosary here: http://www.comepraytherosary.org/