Daily Reflection for Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13
Responsorial: Psalm 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44
Gospel: Luke 8:19-21
Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
Many years ago, a television detective named Kojak was famous for saying, “Who loves you, baby!?” Most of us would, of course, respond, “My family.” But today’s gospel reading put a new dimension on the concept of “family,” and on how we show that love. Jesus identified his spiritual family when he said, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” (Luke 8:21)
If marriage and bloodlines create biological families, what creates a spiritual family?
A spiritual family is clearly much more than shared teachings – matters of the head. Any family is first and foremost a relationship of the heart. Strong relationships are always based on the essence of love. If that’s true, then the love that forms a spiritual family is a God-like love.
As Christians, we believe that God’s word calls each of us to love others as God loves us. I believe this is an intimate, all-knowing love. Superficial love is blind and unknowing, and it is “easy” love. I’m reminded of the old one-line joke: “I love mankind . . . it’s people I have problems with!” I imagine God winces every time someone says that. It’s the antithesis of the love modeled for us by Jesus.
The story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well is a favorite of mine. Culturally, the two of them were like “oil and water” – he was a Jewish man, she was a Samaritan woman. They would never interact socially, yet Jesus knew the intimate details of her checkered life story. He had every reason to reject her but instead he accepted her, loved her, and she became part of his spiritual family.
Today’s readings emphasize acts of service to others to show our love for God. Our Church follows that teaching when it calls us to put our hearts and labors into ministries that foster intimate love – the kind of love that grows strong in spite of our warts and shortcomings. In sharing prayers and working together for the benefit of others, we build bridges together. We learn to love people in spite of their warts . . . and we apply that learning to ourselves.
In the Eucharist, we receive the Son of God. If the hearts of God and God’s Son are indeed big enough to hold the essence of a spiritual family that includes everyone – of every creed and sin – then we can share that essence at Holy Communion. That is truly an intimate love!
How can you and I practice such love today?
Peace . . . and love . . . my friends,