Fr. Stan’s Article
I once overheard a lady complaining about her pastor’s homilies. “What’s the matter with him; all he talks about is love!” I suppose she might have issue with Jesus’ response to the Pharisees in today’s Gospel. When asked by the Pharisees which one of the laws was most important, Jesus responded “Love God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” Love was the answer that summed up all the commandments and even the teaching of the prophets. It sounds pretty simple, and yet we find ourselves continuously at odds not only with strangers, but even with ourselves and those closest to us. We certainly need strength beyond ourselves to become the best version of ourselves. We can find it in Jesus.
Jesus’ invitation is always the same: “Follow me!” Knowing Jesus is important; remembering His words is even better. However, imitating Him allows His power to work through us. Jesus prayed for strength and guidance. Jesus healed and forgave. He taught by example and extended himself to people on the margins. He offered His life even for His enemies. He loved with His whole heart, mind and soul.
It’s helpful for us to focus on the lives of people who have achieved that kind of perfection in loving. Perhaps saints come to mind; or perhaps individuals in our own families. From the moment of our birth we watch and imitate those around us. Hopefully they’ve introduced us to our Lord and Savior who we now introduce to others by our compassion and kindness. Let us show the world how to live out the greatest commandment ever given.
I’m grateful to all who participated in our Mercy in Action Day last Saturday. The various projects were a wonderful way to express our love of God and neighbor. Follow up steps should include prayer and reflection to discover ways to deal with the causes of poverty and homelessness or any of the social ills that trample on human dignity. A film we watched showed how one young boy inspired hundreds of people to reach out to those in need. Let our words and deeds inspire others to walk the two feet of Christian service.
Christmas plans are already in the works and one of them pertains to our annual giving tree. Once again we will be assisting 14 organizations, but perhaps in a different manner since most of the work will be online with either direct monetary donations or gift cards. Information is available on our parish website and in our bulletin. Please be generous.
I can’t stress enough the importance of the annual Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) which is currently underway. This drive helps people in our community as well as in the entire Archdiocese of Detroit, and we are seriously behind in achieving our quota. Thank you for your donations thus far. If you haven’t made your donation yet, please do so this week.
Peace and joy,
Fr. Stan Ulman