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August 2011

20th Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A

Click here to review the readings for this Sunday

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 God loves us all.  No kidding

 

I think it is hard to appreciate that God loves all the people of the world.  Think of all the billions of people and the fact that God loves them all. 

In the first reading, God's Chosen People have just come out of the Exile in Babylon.  It is amazing that when we look at the Hebrew Scripture (the Old Testament) we can see how God loves this people, generation after generation, failure after failure, abandoning God again and again.  Yet He loves his people.  And more than that, in this reading the prophet Isaiah reveals that God loves all people, even the non Jew, the Gentile.  

Remember the Gentiles were thought to be unclean like pigs and even dogs who ate anything.  (Dogs will appear in this Sunday's Gospel.)  But yet Isaiah reveals that God loves all.  Wow.

20th Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A

Saint Paul writes to the Roman Gentiles, non Jews, who have been baptized.  Paul sees the great love God has even for those that were thought to be unclean.  Paul wishes more than anything else, that Jews, of whom he is one, would accept the Good News that Christ brings; yet they do not.  Yet Paul again sees the great love God has.

20th Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A20th Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A

 

 In the Gospel, Jesus answers the request of  the Canaanite Woman, a Gentile,  to save her daughter.  Even Jesus goes out to sinners, the rejected, those considered dirty and unworthy. 

In my retirement living I have come to more deeply understand this love that God has for all.  Many of the people around me are not what society considers "normal".  When I talk with them in the pool jokingly say to them, "I have come to see how un-normal I am." And the response I get is, you are so right, but that we are all not normal, yet that is who God is loving always; forgiving always, healing always.  By the way, healing in the scriptures is often a sign of forgiving sins.  If one had a health problems, it was thought to have been caused by sin.

I think this retirement life in the middle of the desert, has been an eye opener for me.  No matter who I encounter, no matter who, God is loving them.  How can I possible judge, and yet I do.  Yet God loves even me, especially as I come to understand that He asks me to make this love of His present in the world--- to good and the bad, to the saint and the big sinner, to the strange and the weird, etc.

I know these encounters with people let me ask myself,  do  I love unconditionally ?  When the answer is no, I can't love the enemy, then I pray for my own conversion, so  that I may unconditionally love...........even the enemy, the one who wants to destroy me or cause me problems, even anxiety.

I hope these readings come alive for you in the week ahead.  They are a Good News!