Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: January 7, 2019

St. Francis once said, “Look at the humility of God, and pour out your hearts before Him! Humble yourselves that you may be exalted by Him! Hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves, that He Who gives Himself totally to you may receive you totally!”

There is a yearning in our land for a renewal. Young people are lost into electronic ‘smart devices’ and meeting relationships. Parents are entwined in an overloaded work schedule and many find themselves enmeshed in a deteriorating marriage. Church and worship and the altruistic love and caring of our neighbor are things of the past, with very little value. Our borders are walled in, and our hearts are placed behind barbed fencing. And yet, the richer we become, and the more isolated we find ourselves, and the deeper the focus is on ‘me’ and not ‘we’, the poorer we find our souls. Whatever it is we thought  would work,  simply isn’t.

I believe what we really desire is God. Not the God of our coloring book images, but the God who cared so much that he humbled Himself to come as one like us, to save us. That God! As a brother Franciscan so eloquently put it, what we really desire is a date with God!

What would your life look like if you dated God? What would your most important desire then be? How would your daily focus change and who would you desire to tell of your new relationship with One who could love you like no other ever would/could? Would you allow yourself the needed time, dedication, focus, and excitement to learn all about your new-found love?

To truly follow Our Lord and to engage His Gospel, you must first be in love with Him. You must abandon yourself in order to find yourself again. Our love affair with God began as infants at our Baptism, but somewhere along the courtship we lost interest because we never really loved Him all that much. We rather fell in love with the things of the earth that hurt and are fleeting. But now comes a humble priest and friar and I am asking you to give God a try again. Let Him love you as He truly wishes and allow yourself to not be so afraid to be loved.

The heart of the Gospel of Jesus is relationship. It is also the centerpiece of my life as a Franciscan. We just left the season of His incarnation among us. Will you now let yourselves be in relationship with the One who came for you and see how your life might change…how you might actually be found?

How will you find yourself with God this week? Are you willing to try something new and date the One who loves you beyond measure? Will you let go of devices and people who harm, and find a life renewared by the grace-filled One of all?

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