March 29, 2019
I’ve always found it interesting how the Old Testament and New Testament readings complement each other in the Mass. Today we have a reading from Hosea that could be applied to our current age and a timeless Gospel from Mark.
Return, O Israel (and western culture), to the Lord, your God. Take with you words and return to the Lord. Say to Him “forgive all iniquity”…. Take with you words – in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was made flesh.
Our culture has drifted just as the Israelites did in that time. They worshiped things they manufactured and so do we – money, possessions, status, etc. We need to put on sackcloth and ashes and ask God for forgiveness. Our parents got married and raised large families and sacrificed so that we could have a better life. We (the Baby Boomers) had one or two children and trained for triathlons rather than spending time with our kids. Then we saw marriages fail in great numbers because we chose society’s ways over God’s ways.
I will heal their defection says the Lord. I will love them freely. Go to confession. Let him who is wise know these things; let him who is prudent know them.
Because of me you bear fruit.
How true is that! As a heart rhythm doctor, I see how God helps me bear fruit every day. I say the Rosary on the way to the hospital and often pray during the delicate, complicated procedures we do where we walk the tightrope with amazing success on one side and disaster on the other. I know I get tremendous assistance from “upstairs”.
Joy Behar calls Christianity a form of “mental illness”. We live in a very sick world in need of healing.
St. Mark writes, “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. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
This is the crux of the matter. These are beautiful words, but how do we put this into action?
In my life loving your neighbor as yourself is treating each patient the way I’d like to be treated. It’s also understanding that we live in a hectic world where young mothers are forced to leave small children at daycare and go to a job. My nurses and technicians are those young mothers, as are the secretaries, unit clerks, housekeepers, and many others. Anything I can do to lighten their load or brighten their day is appreciated. Little things add up. If we keep adding a teaspoon of kindness, soon we have a lake in which we can all swim.
I find loving God is more difficult. I can relate to Mary. She is human and seems so approachable. The passage says, “you are thinking as man thinks, not as God thinks.” All I can do is ask God for help to do His work and live my life the way He wants….and ask forgiveness when I fail.
St. Anthony Church Parishioner