There once were two brothers who worked the family farm, sharing costs and profits equally. One day, the single brother said to himself, “It’s not fair to split the profits equally—my poor brother has a wife and children to care for.” So, secretly, he crept across the field each night with sacks of grain for his brother’s bin. Meanwhile, the married man thought, “My single brother has no one to care for him in his future.” So, the married brother took his grain each night secretly to his brother’s bin.
One night, of course, the two brothers bumped into each other in the field, and realized what each was doing. They embraced each other, humbly and gratefully. Suddenly the dark sky lit up, and God’s voice spoke: “Here at last is the place where I will build my Temple. For where brothers meet in love, there my Presence shall dwell.” In today’s Gospel, Jesus uses many examples to make clear to his listeners the exact point of this story. That is: unconditional love is the heart, and the soul meaning of every one of God’s laws.
We all know there is a staggering amount of sin, evil, and imperfection in the world, so laws and justice are very important to God, and us. But when Jesus healed sinful people, or forgave the guilty, the Pharisees called him a lawbreaker. Jesus replies, “I haven’t come to abolish the laws—but to fulfill them.” The two brothers were already fulfilling the law…in each one’s heart there was already so much compassion for the other, there was no need for a law requiring a sharing of goods.
What a wonderful life we could in our community, if our love would rush out, and make each others’ needs first! “Here at last is the place where…my Presence shall dwell.”
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us” (St. Augustine). Have a good week…Happy Valentine’s Day…. and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Listen to Sr. Donna’s reflective reading of today’s Gospel: 02.12.17 Gospel
Listen to Monsignor Salemi’s homily today: 02.19.17 Msgr. Salemi
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish