A Word From Our Pastor

I was speaking with a person recently who told me about her daily routine. There was nothing unusual about it: waking each day at 5:30 am, enjoying the quiet, having her cup of coffee, saying her prayers, checking her e-mails. After sharing this unspectacular litany of her daily schedule, with a big smile she proudly proclaimed: “And I wouldn’t change any of it!” I could totally understand her love for her routine, because I have one as well. I believe that most of us have a regular routine to which we hold. One of the reasons is that it makes us feel more in charge of our own life. Yet if all is so good with regularity, why does our faith call us to embrace change as well? Can change actually be a good thing for us if we are so comfortable with routine?  Well, when you stop to think about it Jesus tells us to “Love one another, as I have loved you.” When we hear the word “love” we often think of it as a good, warm feeling – which we expect to have all the time. But in reality we also experience that love means not only good feelings, but that we have to change a lot as well! By that I mean that as we get to know our loved ones, we see their faults as well as good points.  And to love them fully we must adjust by loving them even with their faults. That’s not always easy. For example, I have a friend who will say to me “I will call you next week.” Yet next week never comes, as I don’t hear from him. Do I still love my friend?  Yes, but I don’t like his forgetting to call me. The point is that real love, God’s love, involves more than a warm, fuzzy feeling. I must make a decision that I will continue to love that person by seeing the good points in him and not getting stuck on what bothers me. Making such a decision means that I have to change how I view others; to allow space to be themselves; to continue to love and support them even as I may dislike their behavior; and most importantly, to wish them a life full of happiness and God’s mercy.  When I can get to this kind of loving like Jesus loved, I can better understand what St. John means in the 2nd reading: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” In other words, everything about the way I see my neighbor (even my enemy) will change. St. John continues that “God will dwell with His people and He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” Wow! That will be a truly happy day. When we love like God!             ~ Fr. John




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