Daily Reflection for Thursday, June 03, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday's readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Tobit 6:10-11; 7:1bcde, 9-17; 8:4-9a
Responsorial: Psalm 128:1-5
Gospel: Mark 12:28-34
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12: 31)
It took me a while to learn the lesson of loving others as much as I love myself. Having a career that focuses on being in service to others, I have grown to understand this sacred wisdom. I have a deeper appreciation of the relationship between love for self and love for neighbor. It is a relationship when in harmony dances in spiritual joy.
As a professional in the “service to neighbor” sector, it always felt good to do all I could to be in service to others. I would go the extra mile and always be available for whenever anyone else needed me. I would even sleep at night with two phones under my pillow, ready to respond to whatever my family or work needed. Whatever it was, I was ready, and yet over time this growing sadness and self-doubt started filling my spirit. My love of neighbor came from a place of professional responsibility and obligation, and my desire to please transitioned to a toxic place. I had to stop . . . and so I did.
Recently I was able to take a few months off to look in the mirror and commit to the internal work required to return to center. I wanted to look in the mirror without feeling disappointed and not good enough. I became acutely aware that my need to please others did not equate to loving others. I was living my life trying to meet expectations that really could never be met. It left me drained and depleted.
I spent the past few months reading, praying, participating in spiritual direction, and releasing the toxicity that was starting to fill my spirit. Through this process, I imagined handing the mirror over to the Divine and asking God to hold the mirror with me. And once I let God share the load with me I started letting go of disappointments, rejections, and wounds that I carried with me along the way. I find myself engaging in the world again from a place of love. Finding the source of love within me now frees me to love my neighbor again from a place of joy. While I am a work in progress, I am dancing more with my neighbor and my neighbor with me.
May you love God in you and in others today,