The extension of oneself in Christian charity, commitment to evangelizing by deed, and witnessing the beauty of the Catholic faith to those on the “outside” is a fit calling if we truly strive to live out our faith.
It seems that in this sharing and genuine outreach we can succeed in winning many souls for Christ, and can also bear witness to the power of conversion and transformation that is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of grace and the merciful love of God.
This way of living echoes the most important Gospel message. St John of the Cross has written “At the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone”. If we are even moderately versed in some understanding of scripture it is evident that this love is not limited to those who love us, but to all. We are reminded of the greatness we are to treat those we may selfishly deem the least.
The call to love our neighbour is not limited to the neighbour we prefer to kick back on our front porch with and chat about the lighter things of life. Although these pleasant neighbourly moments are filled with great meaning, loving our neighbour includes loving the guy who always shovels his snow and piles it in the corner of your driveway too.
In the often friction of confrontation with those around us we are invited to a deeper way of living out our faith. These moments of friction offer us tremendous opportunity for deeper human formation and pruning of virtue.
Loving our neighbour is multifaceted and it is not defined by a litany of selfless deeds and doting notes, it is more about our inward disposition toward the person. The reality within our hearts toward those we are most challenged by, those we find most difficult to love is where Christ desires to be.
We can get caught up on the word love and the very limited understanding of this divine virtue as defined by our society. We desire a love that feels good potentially, and can seek out those who most fill our own needs. Jesus reminds us in Today’s Gospel of the importance of recognizing the primacy of loving God above all. It is from this initial and most crucial relationship that we can live out the Gospel, sharing love accordingly to those around us.
It is not an easy thing to accomplish, but we are truly sustained and provided for by God through continually seeking to remain rooted in Him and reserve ourselves daily to loving the Lord our God with all of our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength.
Loving others is a natural consequence of loving God; from there flows all Christian virtue and the strength to look upon that neighbour piling all of his snow on our driveway with inner peace and gratitude for giving us the opportunity to love, even when difficult.
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