My friends in Christ, this week in the second reading from James (2:1-5) we hear about the need to minister to everyone, be they poor or rich. We are all called to care for others regardless of their station in life. Each and everyone of us is a child of God and loved by God beyond our imagination and beyond our worthiness. God loves each of us without prejudice or without considering our place in life or in the world. We too are called to be witness of that same love. We should remember that it was not for the wealthy and righteous that God sent His only son, He sent Him to save those who have fallen from grace, He sent our Lord Jesus Christ to save sinners. Regardless of our station in life or social position, we all sin!
The Gospel (Mark 7:31-37) also bears witness to the compassion and love of God for those who are struggling in life. We hear about Jesus’ healing of the deaf man with a speech impediment. Once again, a miracle performed by our Lord and an example of love for one who is less fortunate, rather than one who is successful, well off and seemingly needing little in life. Now we do not dismiss successful people as not being worthy or in need of God in their lives. All of us are deserving of God’s love.
The key is not related to our place in life, or our social position. It’s not about how much money we have or how successful we are. Rather it’s totally about the need for God in our lives. That need is or should be present in all of us. We should all have a desire, a longing to have Jesus in our hearts. To have Jesus’ present in our lives that we might live the will of God and thereby draw ever closer to Him in love and union. In the gospel this week we see Jesus heal the man with the same compassion and love that is available to each and every one of us.
Let us, each of us stay focused on being present to all those in need regardless of their station in life. Let us remember that each and every person we encounter is in need of God’s love. I pray that each of us will be a vehicle of God’s love – that we will allow God to share his love of others through us.
On a final note, let us remember all those who lost their lives and lost loved ones twenty years ago today in the terror attacks on the United States. Let us also remember the thirteen service members who lost their lives recently in Afghanistan trying to help others to safety. Please join me in praying for their families and for all those who serve this country around the world.
I pray our Lord bless each of you this day and always. Have a very blessed week!
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Father Mark Groeger is the Parish Administrator of Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.