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Browsing Reflections Archive

November 12, 2019

Daily Reflection for Tuesday, November 12, 2019
 

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/111219.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Wisdom 2:23-3:9
Responsorial:  Psalm 34:2-3, 16-19
Gospel:  Luke 17:7-10

Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'"  (Luke 17:9-10)

When I read today's gospel, my reaction is to focus on motivations . . . why I behave the way I do.  For example, it's not at all unusual for Margot and me to share responsibilities for house and yard work, and to assist each other in our special interests.  Our actions show our love for each other . . . a love that is freely given, not earned.  Free choice changes our behavior from drudgery to acts of love and joy.

Today's gospel calls me to behave similarly in my relationship with God.  What I do to live my faith shows the depth of my unconditional love for God . . . and my actions can't put Him in my debt.  There's nothing I can do to earn a larger share of God's love.

I didn't always believe (or behave) like that.  For years, my relationship with my father strongly influenced how I related to God.  While my father loved me, he didn't express love easily.  There wasn't intimate, personal sharing between us.  But he did give approval when I achieved some tangible success.  Thus I sensed that love was conditional on approval and achievements. So while my mind could believe both my father and God loved me unconditionally, my heart had difficulty accepting loving relationships from anyone.

The nature of my relationship with Margot changed all of that.  It opened my heart and mind to the true meaning of unconditional love.  That change accelerated as I understood myself better . . . as my heart opened up to the many ways God's love can be channeled to me.

All of this taught me that love is unconditional . . . and that evangelization begins with me behaving toward others in ways that demonstrate my unconditional love for them.

This means that the most important gift I can share with others is my love for them.  The more each of us experiences a generous, accepting, unconditional love, the easier it is for our hearts to recognize and accept the love God has for us, and to form an intimate relationship with God.

I'm reminded of pre-teen Elizabeth telling us about a new girl friend . . . the girl was often a bit "mean."  When I asked Elizabeth how she was coping with the meanness, she grinned impishly and said, "I'm killing her with love!"  Years have passed since that moment of youthful optimism when she believed she could change the world with her love.  I pray that she retains her belief in the power of applying love to improve relationships.

May we all "kill" with kindness and love today. 

Peace, my friends,
Bill Bradbury

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