30th Sunday (Note & Bulletin)

When I was making my retreat while in the Philippines before coming to Lourdes, I remember one day I was given a reading to pray in which God seemed mad. I found it difficult to believe that indeed God was mad or angry, so I tried to explain it away when I met with the Retreat Director. He was not convinced with my attempt to explain God‘s anger away. He reminded me of several passages, like Jesus turning the tables over of the money-changers that do indeed express anger on the part of God. I have to admit that it does make me feel a little uncomfortable when I begin to think of what can make God mad or angry. I think of all the things I‘ve done or the words I‘ve said which I wish I hadn‘t, and when I do, I can become afraid or sad that I may have made God mad or angry. Many of us may have this fear, so it good for us to reflect what may make God angry and how, then, are we called to live our faith? The First Reading from the Book of Exodus provides us with a great help.

In the passage from Exodus, harsh language is used, no doubt. We hear words, such as, "my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword." Not the most comforting phrase in the Bible for sure! And yet, those words, and similar ones, are spoken as a consequence of harming another person. For example, if the widow or orphan is abused, or if one takes the only coat of another God‘s anger then becomes clear. It seems then, it is when another is hurt, when another experiences things in which, through words or actions, their dignity as the beloved child of God is denied. I often think to myself that when I go to judgment, I know that there could be many sins that could be recited, many commandments broken, but there is one sin I worry over most – that in words or actions, I challenge or lessen another person‘s feeling and appreciation of their own goodness. When the widow or orphan is abused, they are told that they are less. When a coat is taken from another, they are told that their suffering means nothing. It is things like these that rouse anger within God – when a person‘s own sense of their goodness, value and dignity are denied by others. In order not to live a life of faith that so neglects another person, we need only look to the Gospel for help in knowing in our hearts what we are to do.

The Lord offers us the "Golden Rule." Jesus tells us "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.‘ This is the greatest and first commandment. "And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.‘ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." When we encounter another person, when we speak with them or share some action with them, we must remember with whom we are dealing – the beloved child of God who is so loved that God gave his only Son. In other words, we are living and walking on holy ground. We treat others with reverence because their holiness comes from the one who is Holy; we treat others with gentleness because their beauty comes from the one who is Beauty; we treat others with gratitude because their goodness comes from the one who is Goodness; and, we treat others with compassion because their tenderness comes from the one who is Tenderness. If one can believe, in one‘s heart, that one is the

beloved of God, then so too must we confess the same of our neighbour. The way of the Church, the way of this Community at Lourdes is and must be, the way of love. The more we know God‘s love for us, the more loving we will be towards another. We must never push a person down, but always seek to raise them, to raise them to a greater appreciation of their holiness, goodness and beauty. We must always seek to proclaim that one‘s neighbour is loved and held by a merciful, tender and gentle God.

God Bless and Take Care.
Weekly Parish Bulletin277.85 KB

Upcoming Events