The Pastor's Column

Fr. Lara's Lines

“JOY” Jesus (God), Others, You

What is the greatest of all the commands? Jesus tells the Pharisees that the foundation of all the commands is first, love of God followed by love of neighbor and oneself. Every law that existed in Jesus’ time was based on the love of God. Ideally, all the laws we have need to have their ultimate end in the love of God. We need to have God-loving people in government who know that justice is based on the love of God. But the law of love doesn’t depend on government. Laws should be only a parameter of what is already instilled in our hearts from the beginning. Jesus reminds the Pharisees and all of us that we need to love God, others, and ourselves, in that order.

Loving God
The Mass starts with the prayer “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” That is a simple way to place God at the center of our prayers. This is a good way to love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds. When we wake up or go to bed, we need to place ourselves in the presence of God by doing the sign of the cross. Even when doing errands or any other activity during the day, we need to do it in the name of the Lord. In that way, we can always have God in our hearts, souls, and minds.

Loving Others
The love of God is to be shared with all people, those we know and those we don’t know. God created all human beings in his image and likeness, so when we love our neighbor, we are loving God. Love others because by doing so you are loving God.

Love Yourself
If we don’t love ourselves, we can’t love others. Of course, we can’t just focus on us because that is egotism or arrogance. But we do need to love ourselves because we are created in the image and likeness of God. By loving who we are, we are loving God.

Town Hall
Last Tuesday was the town hall meeting about our parish school. Many people gave us valuable feedback. I am grateful for all your time and dedication to our community. Your willingness to address the issues of declining enrollment, school funding and parish subsidy is greatly appreciated. We will continue the dialogue about these issues and possible alternatives for a vital and sustainable parish school. The subcommittees will look more in-depth at what the future holds for us. Let us keep praying; together we can make a strong community centered in Christ our Lord.

Fr. Lara