Friday in the Nineteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: Jos 24:1-13;  Mt 19:13-15

Today’s gospel highlights for us the importance of the vowed life. To live according to the Two Great Love Commandments is a challenge to fallen humanity. We need to obligate ourselves by vows, marital or monastic.

St. John of the Cross stresses that community life is the greatest source of purification in one’s relationship with God. The love one has for God is a return of His love for self and God’s love and goodness is likewise given to all others.

Our Rule of Life calls us to love one another and our guests for three reasons:

1. Because others, being made in His image & likeness, are to be loved for God’s sake.

2. Because our brothers and guests share with self in the common good that is God. They are companions on the way, moving toward the same goal and contending with the same obstacles within themselves. We cannot waste time admiring the imagined spiritual and moral distance between self and our brothers, guests, and retreatants. There is no distance.

3. The third reason is that when one loves a friend, one also loves whoever is loved by the friend. Jesus calls us “friends.”