The Lord, the Heart of the Church
The political campaigning and maneuvering is almost done. It’s been a long “campaign season”. After the speeches and the ponderings, after our reflections and the homilies given, after the debates and the frustrations and the prayer…voting age citizens will go to the polls this Tuesday…and we will elect men and women to serve us at the local and state and federal levels of our self-government. Our shepherd, Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory, has asked us to prepare for this privilege and duty by a careful study of day’s pressing issues through the light of the revealed Word of God, and we have attempted to do just that, as we have used the Bishop’s document on Faithful Citizenship.
Still, there is a kind of weariness in this process…even in a loving community of faith…like Saint Brigid. So, to assist in that weariness, let’s remember this incredible truth: Christianity, before it is a system of thought, before it is a particular morality, is an event: the Incarnation of the Son of God, the manifestation of the Invisible God in matter, in the concreteness of a human body…the human body of Jesus of Nazareth…And this Incarnation…the Divine – human Presence of the Lord in our humanity… continues… in the Church. Dr. Sofia Cavalletti, a Hebrew scholar, an expert that participated in Vatican II and one of the founders of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd wrote about this great mystery, the event of the Incarnation, in her text The History of the Kingdom of God.
“We are members of this Church…members of this ongoing mystery of God’s Presence within our broken and redeemed humanity. We are connected to this event…the Incarnation, as branches are connected to the vine, having been bathed in His light. We need to remember this blessed gift.”
The heart of who we are as Roman Catholics is proclaimed in today’s Gospel (Mark 12.28b-34). Read this periscope from Mark…and remember…that you and I are connected to Him, as branches on the vine; and, in that connection…as we are obedient to Him, we will bear much fruit:
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
‘He is One and there is no other than he.’
And ‘to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself’
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him,
“You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.