Sunday, July 16, 2017

What does it mean to love God? I’ve been meditating on that thought for a few days now.

July 14, 2017

Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin

Lectionary: 387

GN 46:1-7, 28-30

PS 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40

MT 10:16-23

What does it mean to love God?   I’ve been meditating on that thought for a few days now.  After spending another few days in silence on the banks of the Mississippi, I realized how much I missed my wife and children.  I longed for their company.   I found myself getting excited at the thought of seeing my wife as I stood with the generous and loving men who waited with me for her to arrive at the Diocesan Administration Building when we got back.   Just seeing her face when I got back brought a warmth to my heart that truly made me feel loved.   That’s what it means to love.   She didn’t have to do anything to trigger that feeling in me, just seeing her, just being in her presence brought it about.

So do we love God?  Do we look forward to the Mass on the weekend with that sort of enamored joy that I felt while waiting for my wife?  Does our relationship so extend to him that when we aren’t in his presence for a time we begin to long to do so?  I do know that when I miss a Mass on Sunday I feel different.  The day doesn’t feel as if it is going as smoothly and everything feels off.  Sunday just isn’t Sunday without worshipping God.  But what about the other 6 days of the week?   Mass isn’t just there on Sunday.   Do I find myself missing Him?  Longing to go and be with Him?  Yes, I know he is present everywhere, but he is more substantially present in the Sacraments.  Do I run to confession after a week?  A month?  A year?  How long does it take for me to miss Jesus as much as I miss my wife after just four days?

Today’s Saint, Kateri Tekakwitha, loved God.  She loved him so much that she became a slave, literally, for her faith.   As a convert, she was only fed on the days she worked.  She refused to work on Sundays.   So on Sundays, she didn’t eat.  She was persecuted, abused, and eventually had to flee to find another community where the Natives were Christian.  She loved Jesus so much she wasn’t going to give him up, even if it cost her life.  How many things do we put before that relationship in our lives?   Can we truly claim to love Christ if everything else comes first?  Sports?  The gym?  Our health?  Even our comfort?  Jesus tells us to be ready for persecution, that people will persecute us for our faith.  Kateri took that seriously.   I think in our overly sanitized and softened Christianity we often don’t.   

Are you ready to give up everything, including your children if need be?  Do you love God?  Or are you in love with the therapy he seems to provide in your life?   What will it take for you to miss him?   That’s what Hell is… his absence.   Where do you want to spend your eternity?  Because where you spend it right now is a good indicator of where you’ll spend it then.