We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.
God is love, and whoever remains in love
remains in God and God in him (or her).
1 John 4: 16
Blessings to you on this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus! It is a wonderful gift to have this opportunity to contemplate the love God has for us. And, indeed, it is a good time to reflect on the ways in which we are called to respond to that love.
In this time between workshops and traveling I've had the great gift of time... time to reflect... time to pray... time to laugh with friends... time to help friends carry heavy burdens... time to clean windows (okay, not terribly exciting, but it has to get done!)... time to be.
Lately, I've been spending time on our back porch swing in the mornings. It's my prayer spot (when it's warmer than 35 degrees). God and I have had good conversations back there. It is sacred space for me. This morning in my prayer, I was overwhelmed by the readings for today's Mass. Anytime the readings focus on the immensity of God's love, I am overwhelmed. There were a few lines that caught me more than usual, though, and I'd like to share that with you.
"It is not because you are the largest nation that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you, for you are really the smallest of all nations. It was because the Lord loved you and because of his fidelity to the oath he had sworn your fathers..." (from the 1st reading - Deut. 7: 6-11)"Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. Not according to our sins does God deal with us..." (Psalm 103)"Beloved, if God so loved us, we must also love one another." (from the 2nd reading - 1 John 4: 7-16)"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves." (from the Gospel - Matthew 11:25-30)
This weekend as we celebrate our country and its independence, let us keep in mind that with independence and freedom come responsibility. Let us entrust our country to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary... that we might learn to love as God loves... With kindness, humility, meekness, fidelity and with a slowness to anger towards all those who live in the margins of our society - the immigrant, the homeless, the gay, the unborn, those sentenced to death, and those we have labeled as enemies. May God have mercy on us and help us to love more generously.
Many blessings to all who read this!