A WORD FROM THE PASTOR
You can't run away from the Love of God
A woman who came to a great teacher and asked him, "Teacher, how do I know which religion is the right one"? The teacher replied with a story of a great and wise king with three sons. This king had a precious gift - a magic ring that gave him great compassion, generosity, and a spirit of kindness. As he was dying, each of his sons went to him and asked the father for the ring after his death. And he promised to each of the sons that he would give him the ring.
Now how could he possibly do that for all three sons? Here's what he did. Before he died he called in the finest jewelry maker of the land and asked him to make two identical copies of the ring. After his death each of his sons was presented with a ring. Well, it wasn't long before each of the sons figured out that his brothers also had a ring and therefore two of them had to be fakes. Only one of them could be the genuine ring. And so they went before a judge and asked the judge to help them determine which was the authentic ring. Then they could determine who the proper heir was.
The judge, however, could not distinguish among the three rings. And so he said: "We shall watch and see which son behaves in the most gracious, generous, and kind manner. Then we will know who possesses the original ring." And from that day on, each son lived as if he was the one with the magic ring, and no one could tell which was the most gracious, generous, and kind. Then the teacher, having told this story, said to the woman, "If you wish to know which religion is true, watch and see which reveals God's love for the world."
In today’s Gospel passage, a scribe asks Jesus what the most important commandment of all is. And Jesus says the most important commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. And he also says that we must love our neighbor as ourselves. All that Jesus says is that we must use every single part of ourselves to love God: our heart, our soul, our mind, our strength - that’s everything. And if we really love God, then we will love him completely, with everything we've got.
A five year old boy became angry with his mother and decided to run away from home. He walked out of his house with a small bag and was walking around the block again and again. Finally, when it was beginning to grow dark, the policeman stopped him, "What's the idea?" The little boy answered, "I'm running away." The officer smiled as he said, "Look, I've had my eye on you, and you've been doing nothing but walking around the block. You call that running away?" The little boy bursting into tears said, "Well, what do you want me to do? I am not allowed to cross the street!" The youngster obviously did not want to go away from his parents; he knew that they loved him. He couldn't really run away. One may try to keep away from Church and be busy with some other things. The truth is – ‘One can’t run away from the love of God.’ Because love of God is the most gracious, generous, and kind! We need to be sure of that!