From Father Tom
Over the years, probably because of my degree in social work, I tend to take a more global or wider view of things. I am always fascinated about how interconnected all things are. One of my favorite images of organizations and the world is a giant spider web. What I do affects you; what you do affects me.
This is the core of the great commandment. Jesus tells us to love God, to love others and to love self. We are not isolated beings.
Our love of God needs to be foundational. It is not a one-way street. God doesn’t passively sit there absorbing all our love. In fact, we don’t even initiate it. God does. God created us out of love. Our love for God is a response to what we have first received.
If we can accept this, then we need to turn to the reality that we must love ourselves. How can we hate or not like what God created and God loves? God never stops loving us, even when we try to stop him. Being created in the image of Love, we need to see that Love in the mirror every morning.
Once we get to this point, then love of neighbor becomes easier. Charity cannot be limited to cleaning out our closets and giving our second-hand stuff away. To truly live the Great Commandment demands that we walk out of these four walls and get our hands dirty, together, as Christ’s Body. It challenges us to look beyond the color of person’s skin, their accent, who they love, the sex and religion, their external appearance and see what God sees: The reflection of His Divine Image. We must see the God who we see in the mirror every morning.
The life of discipleship is summed up in the Great Commandment. It is the mission statement of this parish. Dave and Lora, our parish trustees, will now give you an account of how well we are living as disciples and where we need to focus for the next months in to continue the mission.