Saturday, October 22, 2011

How much should we love God?

Thirtieth Ordinary Sunday Year A

How much should we love God? How much do you love God? How much do you love Jesus? Can you divide your love between God and your wife, your husband, your children, your parents, your friends and your neighbours? Can you give each 20% of your heart, 20% of your love? 20% goes to God. 20% goes to our wife or husband. 20% goes to our children. Another 20% goes to our friends. Can? No, we can’t. Our hearts cannot be divided. We must love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind. This means giving him 100% of our love. Then, how about our family members, friends or our neighbour? Have we no love left for them?

Here is the secret I want to share with you. If you are prepared to love God with everything that you have and give him your 100%, you will be able to love everyone, your wife, your husband, your children, your elderly parents, your friends, and even your enemies, with the same love that God has for you. We can never truly love others unselfishly without giving our love first to God. Only God’s love is perfect. We can only love others unconditionally with the unconditional love of God. In other words, we love others through God’s love. Or we become the channel in which God loves our neighbours.

The problem begins when we try to divide our hearts and our love between the many people whom we think we should love. If we attempt to love on our own without any reference to love of God, we would often end up meeting our selfish needs alone. We love another person only because we expect the same love in return. Very often, we will be disappointed. Apart from God, no one can love unconditionally. Only God can love unconditionally.

That is why for us Christians, marriage is not just a private affair between two persons – husband and wife. Marriage is a sacred bond that is made possible only through the power of God. God is the love that unites husband and wife. If God is excluded from the marriage, if the parties think that they can make marriage work without God, then that marriage would not last very long. When we try to find only human solutions to our need for love, we will certainly be disappointed. No person can meet our every need. Only God can.

Without God, we cannot possibly love. Feelings alone are not indication of love. Feelings come and go. Love is a commitment that remains. Without God, we would only be concerned with meeting our own needs. Without God, we will only try to control the other person, we will become possessive.

When we are able to love God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind, we will begin loving our neighbour as we truly should. The second part of the commandment is the test by which we will know that we are surrendering ourselves to God’s love. If we are living in God’s love, then we will begin thinking of the migrant, the poor and the orphan. We will begin caring for them. Loving God fully doesn’t mean spending all your time in Church, or coming for Church activities. Loving God fully means, that you will begin thinking of the needs of the others and the needs of the community before thinking of your own needs.

Today, let us examine ourselves and ask ourselves honestly, how much do we love God? How much do we love others apart from ourselves? If we have only been thinking of ourselves all this time, perhaps it is time to start thinking of others.

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