Commentary on the Gospel of
One of the most powerful underlying messages found in the readings of Romans, Psalms, and the Gospel of Luke for the seventh of November relates directly to a core aspect of Ignatian spirituality, Finding God in All Things. Although seemingly straight forward, this concept is often difficult to comprehend on a practical level. All people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, and so on, are God’s children, and deemed equal in the eyes of the Lord. In essence if one truly sees the wonder of God in the creation of all living things then it stands to reason that all things possess equal value and should be treated equally as well since God can only be of one source of love, no more and no less.
The two parables in Luke 15:1-10 reflect the mystery of God in a unique way. On first read it seems almost silly that anyone would express overwhelming joy upon finding a single lost sheep when 99 others behaved appropriately, or from finding one escaped coin when 9 others remained in plain sight. However, these parables are classic to Christ’s typical approach of explaining the path to eternal happiness through stories of simplicity yet glossed with mystery. God’s love, although well beyond human comprehension, is somewhat analogous to a parent’s love for their own children. If even one child is in need what parent in right mind would not come to their aid? Such are the parables described in Luke.
A second lesson worth extracting from today’s readings is a focus on the tribulations of concerning ourselves with the affairs of others. The reading from Romans makes it abundantly clear that we are to live not for ourselves, but for the glory of God and therefore should not expend valuable time and energy in constant judgment of others … a command much easier said than done.
November 22, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas. Various media sources report that hundreds of people will flock to the site of the fatal shooting in remembrance of JFK for the positive aspects he contributed to America and the world alike during a time of great political turmoil. Unfortunately many others will also visit Dallas at the same time, with opposite intentions, to specifically focus on negative aspects related to that fateful day in 1963. If the human race is to properly serve the Lord as intended according to today’s biblical passages then one can only pray that a November reunion to honor JFK will remain focused on finding God amidst the chaos of events from past history; A lesson in the human spirit worth paying attention to on a daily basis.
The fact is our presence on earth, regardless of attained position and notoriety in life, is only temporal. According to Romans we are not to judge the actions of others but rather should focus on glorifying God knowing that in the end we all must face the realities of the only judgment with lasting merit; e.g. a personal account of how we individually lived our lives in service to others as a humanistic expression of our love and obedience to God.