June 5 reflection by Deacon Len

Friday, 9th Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s Gospel reminds us of the simple fact that we are CHRISTians, that is we are followers of the Christ.  We are sharers in the work of Christ.  Jesus walked among us two millennia ago, fully human and fully divine, not as a philosopher or theologian; not as a politician or activist; not even as an actor, athlete, rock star or millionaire.  He walked among us as the son of David, and the Son of God.

Like the scribes (and pharisees) we often try to fit our Christian beliefs into a list of commandments or an elaborate “to do” list.  Then, when difficulties come up we look at our list and decide where we stand.  Or worse, we decide where we are “comfortable” and use our list to justify our position.

Jesus spent much of His ministry refuting the scribes, pharisees and members of other “parties” that wanted to use their “lists” to justify their “comfortable” positions of “authority”, and never deal with the discomfort of doing “every good work” and loving their neighbor.

In yesterday’s Gospel we were reminded of the two greatest commandments:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Today as CHRISTians we are reminded that God comes FIRST in our lives, ahead of political parties, activism, celebrity and even money.  Our primary responsibility is to live the two great commandments above, not to justify deeds with lists, philosophies, economic status or any other reasoning.  Love one another as I love you.

Deacon Len

lfpenkala@st-raphael.com