The story of Ruth, from the ‘pagan’ country of Moab, is always a good reminder that Catholics don’t have a monopoly on goodness, love, and truth. Many parents also are disappointed that their children no longer go the church regularly, if at all. However, they are consoled that their kids are living good, loving lives, and have sound values. In terms of the gospel today, they are certainly keeping the second greatest commandment of Jesus – to love others.
For me, I am saddened, though, that my own nieces and nephews miss out on the first commandment – experiencing the wonder of being loved by God and finding security, comfort and strength in knowing that whatever happens, God will be there for you and with you. I worry for them – how will they manage when the rubber hits the road, when they need that extra strength, hope to get them through the hard and perhaps hopeless times. Of course, they will get through, but life could be so much richer, deeper, and more meaningful when God is holding your hand.
Being able and wanting to love your neighbour is a wonderful gift and shows extraordinary goodness and depth. But loving God and being loved by God takes Love to a whole new level. Some of us who are older and from an Aussie background may remember the lyrics of the song: Falling in love with Love is falling for make-believe”. Well, we know that falling in love with LOVE certainly ain’t make-believe – it is miraculously finding yourself in the very heart of God, it is finding your truest self as well.
Fr Tom McDonough CP the Parish Priest of St.Brigid’s parish Marrickville.