Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, July 15, 2011

Feast of Saint Bonaventure

Good morning. Jesus reminds us today that it is about more than just following the rules. Many folks, like the Pharisees, think it is just about fulfilling obligations like attending Mass or giving an honest days work or obeying the Commandments. Yes, it is about following the rules. But it is more. Others are about giving everything to the poor and living like church mice, and attending to the needs of the traveler. Yes, it is about justice. But it is more. And for some it is about advocating for peace and being kind. Yes, it is about peace. But it is more. For others it is about liturgy and music. And yes, it is about prayer. But it is more. None of these are necessarily wrong, but it is about much more. There are those who always follow the rules, but always lack understanding for those who struggle with the rules, and there are those for whom everything is relative and always say “God will understand” when they want to opt out of the rules. We are called to be more like God, and in today’s Gospel we are told it is about being merciful and loving. Yes, it is about justice, peace, prayer, and following the rules, but it is about much more. We are called to be merciful and loving as God is, to love unconditionally and to be merciful time after time after time. Truth is, only God can love this way, and only God can be this merciful. Although it is a daunting task we are called to be more like God. We are called to imitate His merciful and loving ways and the more we become like God the less we see how others are less so. It is in a lasting marriage where we come closest to the love and mercy to which God calls us. In a lasting marriage we see demonstrated the everlasting love and mercy we are called to live-out in our lives, in the words of the Prophet Jeremiah: “With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you.” These words of God to Israel reflect well the marital covenant. As with God, marriage calls us to love and to be merciful, to love unconditionally, to be merciful time and again, and accept our spouse for who they are. Marriage calls us to be merciful as God is merciful, to love as God loves with an everlasting love. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and works of Saint Bonaventure—Doctor of the Church. Regarding mercy Bonaventure said: “To manifest the sweetness of supreme devotedness, the Fountain of all mercy, the good Jesus, wept for us in our misery not only once but many times.”

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