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The good news for the day July 10

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (105)

God speaks to Israel: “This rule that I am laying out for you today is not so mysterious and far away from you. It is not way up in the sky, that you would have to say, ‘Who will go up into the sky to get it for us and tell us about it, so we may carry it out?’ Nor is it overseas, so that you would have to say, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us about it, so we may carry it out?’ No, this rule is something very near you; it’s already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have just to carry it out.” (Deuteronomy 30)

There was this Scripture scholar who stood up to test Him: “Teacher, what do I have to do to earn infinite life as my rightful inheritance?” Jesus said to him, “In Law, what is written? How do you read it?” He replied, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your thinking—and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “Right! Good answer. Do it and you will be alive.” (Because the man wanted to justify himself, though, he continued.) He said to Jesus, “Just who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers…” (Luke 10)

Today, we consider a core belief of Jesus and His Jewish heritage. This love is not just a core belief, it is a simple, basic thing. It is as simple as opening your eyes—realizing you have been blind—and now you see!

What do you see? God in Creation. What do you see? A world God loves dearly—flawed, hurt—a victim of robbers. You are THE neighbor (as the follow-up parable says). How do you love your Father with your heart? Your feelings call you to help a damaged brother-neighbor. How do you love your Father with your soul? Before you die—you notice someone’s need right in front of you. (This love is not overseas!) How do you love your Father with all your strength? A million tiny moments of courageous praise, patience, or peace making—a brave tone of voice to ease someone’s pain. And your mind? You grow in knowledge fearlessly accepting God’s uncomfortable truths. Faith grows seed-like—deepening your understanding—your repenting—admitting your ignorance and open to discovering where you have gone astray…that’s how you grow in love.

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