I spent this past week with the young people of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Seward, Nebraska. Praise God for their lives, faith, and hospitality they showed to me and my fellow Totus Tuus missionaries. For those of you that don’t know, Totus Tuus is a summer catechetical program in many dioceses around the nation. My team and are will be traveling around the Lincoln, Nebraska diocese for the next seven weeks! I beg of your prayers as we strive to witness to and teach the young people of the Church. May God be praised.
“When shall we finally begin to love God?” – St. Phillip Neri
In the final chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus asks Peter the question, “Do you love me?” After asking this question three times in a row and after Peter gets upset his master for asking him these questions, Jesus tells Peter to follow him.
With young people there are so many questions! Whether they are in first or second grade, third or forth, fifth of sixth, seventh or either, or in high school and college, we all have questions.
What is God like?Where does he live? Does he have a mom and dad? Does he love me? Am I special in his eyes? What am I suppose to do with my life? Why does the world suffer so much?
Questions are a part of our quest for truth, our desire to know ourselves, and understand the will of God in our lives. Jesus in his question to Peter points to a simply reality of faith. At a moment when he could ask all sorts of questions, Jesus points to the foundation of our faith which is love.
Having an apostolate of teaching for the summer so many things have been running through my mind. What am I going to teach? Are they going to understand it? Will I succeed? And after getting worked up over all the particulars of what my summer full of teaching will be like, the Lord hit me over the head with his call for my teammates and me this summer…to love HIM and to bring those whom we teach into that love. Do you love me? He asks.
My friends, when will we realize that our primary vocation in life is to LOVE the Lord? Of course only because he first love us! And in that love and with that love that we give and receive, transform the world around us. I have heard someone describe the love of a mother and a father like this; it is not the primary goal of the mother and father to love their child. The primary goal of a mother and father is to love one another so fully that their child is swept up into that love, therefore experiencing a truly whole and transforming love. How beautiful!
I think the question that St. Phillip Neri poses is a significant question. When will we finally begin to love the Lord? The relational love that we can share with Jesus is one that some how becomes secondary to most in the Christian life. We are very much consumed with other things and forget about loving Jesus. I know it sounds simple and most of you are probably thinking this is old news, but I figured it is always good to reminded about what Jesus what for us. He wants us to love Him. He wants loving him to be a priority in our lives. To love him means to spend time with him at Mass and in the other sacraments and in that exchange of love, bring others closer to him and his church.
My friends, enter into a relationship of love with Jesus, and see the world change around you. Now is the time to love Jesus…
God Bless You,