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Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Fulfillment of Our Deepest Desire

Here are the readings from the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time,  reading which alert us to perceiving and attending to the needs of those who God has placed before us. But,  the Gospel lets us know that first things are first.  " you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart , with all your soul, and with all your mind."

 All to often I feel that those who stress the social justice of the church use (misuse) Scripture to avoid dealing with some of the most miserable moral failings of our time.  In this case the first commandment (you shall love the Lord....) is ignored in favor of the second:  to love your neighbor as yourself.  Love of neighbor is quite important, but love of neighbor must be rooted in love of God,with all your heart, soul and mind.  You must be conformed to the Truth Himself first, or you will not be able to lead your neighbor to the living water that he or she so desperately needs.

  I have just recently witnessed a Facebook debate about "homosexual marriage" that has really driven home this in my heart. Those who claimed they are just being fair and merciful to those who have a same sex attraction made fervent appeals to the justice of Jesus, yet they can only barely scrape the surface of what His justice means, and often the larger, more transcendent realities goes by the wayside.  And the eternal God, who is the fountain of life, the living water, the source of all love, justice and peace takes second place to making sure that no one has to confront their own bondage, or that of their neighbors, so they can be truly free.

 John, Chapter 4 verses 4-7, 9-28:

He had to pass through Samaria.  So he came the the town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.  Jacob's well was there, Jesus, tired of his journey, sat down at that well, it was about noon.  A woman of Samaria came to draw water.  Jesus said to her, "give me a drink."

I have to stop right here, because I think that anyone who reads the Gospels with eyes to see and ears to hear ought to now discern what is happening in their own heart, because my heart always skips a beat when Jesus speaks, it skips a beat because my mind hears Him talking to me, the Beloved is talking to me!  Listen! Listen to him speaking to you!

The Samaritan woman said to him, "How can you , a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman for a drink? "  (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.)  Jesus answered and said to her, " If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'give me a drink,' you would have asked him to give you living water."  The woman said to him, "Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where than can you get this living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?"  Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;  but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  The woman said to him, "Sir give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."  Jesus said to her, "Go call your husband and come back."  The woman answered and said to him, "I do not have a husband."  Jesus answered her, saying, " You are right in saying, 'I do not have a husband.'  For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true."

I bring this passage up because in the Facebook debate this Scripture was brought up to make a point that though human love is good, the love of God, the living water, is of highest importance, and no sacrifice is too great for it.  But one of the opponents (the pro homosexual "marriage" side) could only see that Jesus did not specifically mention homosexuality in this debate, so she could not see that it had any bearing on the discussion at all.  And it is so sad, because there is Jesus, sitting at the well, calling each of us out of our sinfulness, away from the distractions that we think will assuage the deep yearning for the Beloved.  He is the fulfillment of all our desires, but when God is not put first in all things, all that can be seen here is that Jesus was kind to a woman that others ignored.  He was more than kind, He was passionately showing her that all that she desired in her whole life was fulfilled in Him.  He was betrothing Himself to her.

We cannot always stop our loved ones from pursuing sinful lifestyles, but we can point to the one who will not just forgive, but forgive and heal us, with tenderness and love.  We can point to Him because we have experienced His love and forgiveness. Jesus can be living water through you and your steadfast devotion to Him.  We must order our love to God, with all of our heart, mind and strength, as the Holy Spirit to help, or we will so easily settle for the stagnant water from the earthly cistern, and that is all we will be able to offer those we love when they some in search of a drink!

 Moreover, to not put God first, blinds us to immutable truths:   Jesus did not hesitate to bring light and truth to the woman's situation in life. and she in return left her jar at the well to bring this truth to others.  But, really, either you struggle to live and proclaim the truth, or you will give it up totally.  You will be satisfied with stagnant well water. And this is tragic, when there is Living Water that is available to them.  You must at least point the way to the Living Water, the way to the Bridegroom who fulfills all our desires.

Before I go, since I veered from this Sunday's Gospel a wee bit let me link you to Deacon Paul Rooney's web site, where one can always get sound teaching on the Scripture, click  Didja Know for wisdom on this Sunday's Scripture in relation to immigration!

Grace and Peace,

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