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The love of God flows

From Safari……

My seminary classmates and I spent a semester of study in Israel. Our home base was in Ein Karem, a suburb of Jerusalem. It was an incredible time. During our four months in Israel, we spent a week around the Sea of Galilee, checking out Mount Tabor and the Jordan River, and a week in Sinai desert, climbing to the top of Mount Sinai and floating and camping out by the Dead Sea.

The Jordan River flows into two seas in Israel. One is fresh and full of life. It is surrounded by trees and small villages. People fish in it, boat in it, swim in it and it provides life and livelihood for many. It is the Sea of Galilee, around which Jesus spent so much of his ministry. The other sea is much larger. But there are few villages built around it. No one can drink from it or fish in it. Its water is stagnant and briny. It is the Dead Sea, the lowest geographical point on the earth.

How can they be so different: The Sea of Galilee has a river on both sides. It is fed by one and feeds the other. For every drop of water that comes in, one goes out – so the water is always fresh. The Dead Sea simply collects all the water that flows into it. No river flows out the other side. The water is still, salty and stale. Nothing can live in it.

The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea also describe different kinds of people. Like the Dead Sea, there are some who simply take, it is all about them. Very seldom are they reaching out to someone else. Some have a happiness that comes from the things of this world and they tend to use people. Look at how great I am. Others, due to misfortune, constantly grumble at how unfair life is. They wallow in their misery and zap the life of those who come in contact with them. Others are like the Sea of Galilee, they are filled with life. They constantly strive to reach out to those around them. Even when faced with hardship they tend to be joy filled. Their joy comes not from the things of this world but their relationship with God.

To both types of people the love of God flows in. The latter realize that inner and outer peace and joy, come in sharing the love we receive. Someone once defined love, “Life has taught us that love doesn’t mean gazing into each other’s eyes, but instead it means we look outward together.” Looking outward together is surely, what Jesus asks us to do. He urges us to look tenderly on our wounded world and do whatever lies in our power to make it a happier and more peaceable place.

He once asked us to see him in anyone who hungers or thirsts, is sick or in any kind of prison. And in those moments when we find it difficult to see Christ in another, when we utter the heresy that here is someone who does not deserve to be loved. In those moments, that person needs to see Christ in us. Lord help us to let your love move in and through us.

May your week be sprinkled with signs of God’s goodness. Fr. Ron

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